Chelsea Ready for Shock Raid on Premier League Strugglers

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Soccer Football – Premier League – Newcastle United vs Stoke City – St James’ Park, Newcastle, Britain – September 16, 2017, Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Despite intense speculation over his own future, Antonio Conte has already sanctioned a move for Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles, claims the Daily Mirror.

The Chelsea boss is keen to add youth to his defence but also leadership with David Luiz, 31, among those set to be offloaded this summer.

Lascelles impressed at Nottingham Forest, leading Newcastle United to not only sign the centre-back but to make him club captain as well. The 24-year-old was inspirational as the club made a quick return to the Premier League.

Despite the Magpies struggles – and they remain embroiled in the relegation tussle – Lascelles earned plaudits for his displays and captaincy. The latter aspect has been intensely scrutinised by Chelsea, leading to comparisons with former club legend John Terry.

The Derby-born defender has been capped by England at junior international levels and was touted to break into the senior squad before the summer. Hopes of a late call-up for the World Cup finals were dashed when he didn’t appear against either the Netherlands or Italy last week.

Chelsea are expected to be prepared to go to £30m to land the cultured central defender and move swiftly as soon as the Magpies fate for this season is sealed. Three points from the 1 – 0 win over Huddersfield today went a long way to securing their top-flight status.