Antonio Conte

Doing a Liverpool: Chelsea line up three Southampton deals

Chelsea & Southampton

In recent seasons, Liverpool have become famed for signing Southampton’s best players.

A slew of players have swapped St Mary’s for Anfield. That’s included Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert.

More recently, Liverpool have been linked with a swoop for Southampton centre-half Virgil Van Dijk.

Yet, according to the Evening Standard on Wednesday, Chelsea are now lining up three deals with the Saints.

Conte v Chelsea

Before delving into the potential Chelsea signings, the Times have this week looked into the relationship between Antonio Conte and the Chelsea board.

The Times report that while Conte has the five mentioned players on his shopping list, the reigning Premier League champions are baulking at all those deals.

Why? Because Chelsea no longer want to sign old players. The Times report:

Antonio Conte is in a stand-off with the Chelsea hierarchy over transfer targets, with the club reluctant to bow to the manager’s request to spend significant sums of money on experienced players with little resale value.

It is understood that there is also a philosophical difference between the Italian and the club as they seek to overhaul their squad.

So how will this play out?

Will Chelsea sign anyone before the transfer window shut?

Three Southampton targets

Conte is planning to transplant Southampton’s backline to Stamford Bridge.

The Evening Standard link the Blues with Cedric Soares, Van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand.

Cedric and Bertrand would provide Conte with extra cover in Chelsea’s wing-back roles. Currently Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses have little competition for their places in the Blues XI.

When it comes to how much Chelsea would have to pay, Cedric is listed as a £15-£20m signing.

The Evening Standard fail to mention how much Van Dijk and Bertrand would cost. Both players, however, are likely to be much pricier than the 25-year-old Portugal right-back.