Chelsea will make a €35m (£30m) bid for the Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli on Wednesday as Antonio Conte tries to add depth to his squad before the transfer window closes next week, with another €5m in performance-related add-ons.
The Serie A club are desperate to hold on to the 21-year-old Italy under-21 international but could be tempted to sell this summer if the current owner, Silvio Berlusconi, as well as the future owners, Haixa Capital, who will take over the club in November, believe they can get an adequate replacement for Romagnoli before the window closes. They are interested in signing São Paulo’s Rodrigo Caio.
Conte is keen to sign a defender, a striker and a reserve goalkeeper before the window shuts next week and the Italian sees Romagnoli as a long-term replacement for John Terry. The former England captain has started the first two Premier League games for Chelsea alongside Gary Cahill but with Kurt Zouma injured the Italian manager feels he is a player short in that position, despite the fact that Branislav Ivanovic can also play at centre-back.
Romagnoli, who arrived from Roma for €25m last summer, has a contract to 2020 and is earning around €2m a year. Chelsea are likely to offer in the region of €3.5m a year.
Milan would be short of quality players in central defence, however, if they decided to sell Romagnoli.
They also have Gabriel Paletta, Gustavo Gómez and Cristián Zapata in that position but the latter is injured while two other central defenders, Rodrigo Ely and Jehrson Vergara, are way down the manager Vincenzo Montella’s pecking order and unlikely to play much this season.
Source: The Guardian