LUIZ’S Chelsea future in serious doubt, Conte’s play for attacking gem and an old Chelsea rumour returns to the gossip pages.
It’s all wrapped up in this Chelsea edition of Rumour Mill.
LUIZ FUTURE IN GRAVE DOUBT
Chelsea star David Luiz hasn’t featured for the Blues since October, with reports from the Daily Mail indicating that a falling out with manager Antonio Conte could spell a January exit for the defender.
The Brazilian’s most recent Chelsea start came in a 3-0 Champions League loss to Roma with European giants Real Madrid and Juventus rumoured to be keen on his signature.
According to the report, Italy’s powerhouse appear to be leading the chase for the versatile centre back or holding midfielder, with Juventus thought to see Luiz as the man to fill the hole left by Leonardo Bonucci’s stunning departure to rivals AC Milan over the summer.
However, competition for Luiz’ signature could come in the form of Spanish champions Real Madrid. Los Merengues are reportedly keen to move for the centre-half – who could cost upwards of £23m pound.
The move would continue the turbulent, yo-yoing transfer history for the Brazilian, who was bought back by Conte last season, from Paris Saint-Germain for £34m, after being sold for £50m, which was a world record fee for a defender in 2014.
Since that calamitous loss to Roma, Luiz has yet to feature in the Premier League, with a sole outing in blue coming off the bench against Qarabag in the Champions League.
Antonio Conte claims the pair maintain a healthy relationship, despite consistently preferring youngster Andreas Christensen to 30-year-old Luiz.
When quizzed on the topic of Luiz, his manager responded: “I don’t know. Andreas Christensen is the present and the future for Chelsea.”
CONTE EYES PALACE STAR
The form of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha appears to have caught the eye of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, with the Italian thought to be lining up a January move for the 25-year-old.
Zaha has netted four times in 12 appearances for Palace this season in the Premier League, and has been a shining light in a side who find themselves just two points clear of relegation through 18 match days.
The Mirror reports Conte is keeping tabs on the former Manchester United man, and sees him as an ideal candidate to strengthen his stuttering attack.
Spurs were thought to be leading the race for Zaha’s signature in a long running summer transfer narrative, however, any move from Mauricio Pocchetino would reportedly see Palace’s talisman not join Spurs until next summer.
So Chelsea want to strike … now.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson is aware of the interest in his star but with a fierce relegation fight looming, is loath to lose the club’s brightest attacking spark.
SANDRO BACK ON THE RADAR
Alex Sandro was the one that got away for Chelsea over the summer, as Juventus rebuffed a rumoured offer of 55 million pounds for the left-sided player.
But the Brazilian’s poor first-half to the 2017-18 season could see the Turin outfit change their minds, according The Express, and listen to offers from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager Conte is a known admirer of Sandro having worked closely with him during his time at the helm of the Italian giants, however it is believed that should Sandro be put up for sale that the Blues would face serious competition for his signature.
The report suggests Paris Saint-Germain as well as both Manchester clubs continue to keep tabs on the two-time Serie A winner.
Sandro is seen as a perfect fit in Conte’s preferred 3-5-2 system, with the Brazilian’s pedigree as a left wing back near unrivalled in Europe.