Chelsea are finally closing in on signing a defender, after a summer of disappointment in the transfer window.
Antonio Conte only has five defenders to choose from at the minute, and has been priced out of moves for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli.
But they’ve stuck with their Serie A search, and are close to announcing the signing of Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina, according to the Daily Mail.
The former Sunderland defender will cost them though, with a £23 million fee enough to bring the Spaniard to the Premier League again.
He was part of one of the Italian league’s most feared defences last season, and chipped in with four goals as Fiorentina finished fifth.
The Viola were holding out for a £25 million fee, but the Blues have settled on a transfer that includes add-ons.
Presumably, one of those will be ‘he sticks around for a second season’ after Chelsea’s habit of getting rid of left backs after one season continued this summer, with Baba Rahman heading back to Germany after 12 months.
Alonso’s arrival will allow Cesar Azpilicueta to move to right back, and Branislav Ivanovic to move into the central position.
Kurt Zouma is also closing in on a return to fitness after a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury, so Conte may be able to manage without another centre back coming in.
Chelsea’s lack of European football may also help them, with one game a week even manageable for the ancient knees of John Terry.