Before the first Premier League match of the season, Antonio Conte made it clear to the Chelsea hierarchy that his squad needed strengthening. After Burnley’s 3 – 2 win on Saturday, no-one is in any doubt that reinforcements are desperately needed.
The Blues were undone by ill-discipline ahead of the trip to Tottenham which will see them without Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas through suspension. Saturday was the third consecutive competitive match in which they had a player sent off, following Victor Moses’ dismissal in the FA Cup final and Pedro in the Community Shield.
While they chase defensive reinforcements, Conte has indentified Croatian international Ivan Perisic, 28, as his solution in midfield, according to reports in the Daily Mirror.
The Inter Milan wideman moved to the top of their hitlist as Conte looks to bring in players to complement club record signing, Alvaro Morata, 24.
While Michy Batshuayi, 23, laboured when leading the Blues line against Burnley, Morata added zest and central striking know-how to their nine-men. Good service from the flanks is imperative and Perisic scores highly in that department despite playing in a lacklustre Internazionale side.
Manchester United’s interest in the Croat, capped 57 times by his country, has waned with Jose Mourinho’s attention turned in the immediate future to reducing the size of his squad. Chelsea have a habit of moving swiftly when they want a player and are expected to complete a deal quickly with the Italian club.