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Reports today are suggesting that Antonio Conte believes he has secured his first high-profile summer signing for Chelsea.
The man in question is AS Roma’s steamrolling midfielder, Radja Nainggolan, as Conte draws upon his Serie A experience by moving for the 27-year-old.
Although the Blues are expected to splash the cash this summer, Roman Abramovich is reluctant to go for the usual scattergun ‘sign all the good players’ approach. With the Russian keen for his latest managerial appointment to use common sense in the transfer market – something Chelsea aren’t known to possess.
So where does the Blues’ reported new man fit into a Chelsea side depleted of belief and morale under Jose Mourinho?
Who would the midfielder replace?
Nemanja Matic’s performances in his second season back with Chelsea epitomised the Blues struggles in Jose Mourinho’s final campaign; the Serbian went from dominant, bullish and efficient to overrun, timid and ineffective.
Sure, the stats make for more impressive reading for Matic, compared to his potential replacement. However, there’s always a stat out there to disprove another statistic.
Good value for money?
The reported fee is £28million for Nainggolan, which, in the grand scheme of the ridiculously inflated transfer market, not spending £30million for a key man at one of the biggest teams in Serie A sounds like good business.
Although signing the Belgium international would represent a decent acquisition, it’s worth considering that Manchester City are currently linked with an £18million move for Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan.