Chelsea may have already spent in excess of 60 million pounds to bolster its squad this summer, but its business in the first transfer window of Antonio Conte's reign looks to be far from over. The former Italy and Juventus coach has welcomed young Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi and former Leicester City midfielder N'Golo Kante to Stamford Bridge as he sets about his task of, at the very least, returning Chelsea to a Champions League place next season.
However, despite also insisting that striker Diego Costa will not be going anywhere, Conte has hinted that there could be more arrivals to come. Alvaro Morata is one player who continues to be linked with the Blues. Chelsea's hopes appeared to have been dashed with Real Madrid having second thoughts about selling him on for a profit after buying the striker back from Juventus earlier this summer. But speculation has suggested a bid could be forthcoming from Chelsea, something which Conte refused to rule out.
"About this situation I always prefer to speak with the club," Conte said after his side beat RZ Pellets WAC in a preseason friendly in Austria. "We know our targets and the most important thing is there is a great synergy between me and the club on the transfer market. It's not important to speak outside, but to keep the secret is very important at this moment."
According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Conte and the club's hierarchy have been involved in intense discussions about transfer targets in recent days. The British tabloid claims that Conte has told Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that he needs five new players to make the club Premier League title challengers once more, with additions required across all areas of the team.
That would be some overhaul and is extremely difficult to envisage happening before the close of the transfer window. But it does suggest there will be at least one or two further additions.
It would be a major surprise, though, if one of those were Edinson Cavani. French publication Le 10 Sport has reported that Chelsea has made an offer of 50 million euros ($54.9 million) for the Uruguay front man, but that his club Paris Saint-Germain want 80 million euros ($87.8 million). There would seem little chance of Chelsea paying such a fee for a 29-year-old. And, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic having departed this summer, Cavani looks set to finally get the role he wanted at PSG as the central striker.
Chelsea will also have to spend a huge amount if it is to land another rumored striker target. Many Chelsea fans have always rued the decision of Jose Mourinho to sell Romelu Lukaku to Everton two years ago, and there have been reports that the Blues now want to bring the Belgian star back to Stamford Bridge.
However, should Chelsea decide to push for his signing, it will cost it 75 million pounds ($98 million), according to the Daily Mail. While the 23-year-old is a feared striker on his day and scored 18 Premier League goals last season, the fee would still be enormous for a striker who remains rough around the edges.
If Costa stays, there also appears little need for another top-level striker. A new center-back, though, is a different matter.
With John Terry now aged 35, Kurt Zouma still recovering from a serious knee injury and Gary Cahill coming off a less than exceptional season, a new addition could well be in Conte's thoughts. And, according to the player's agent, Chelsea has made inquiries about Roma's Kostas Manolas.
"The best clubs in Europe want him," Ioannis Evangelopoulos told Italian newspaper Il Tempo. "There isn't just Manchester City, but also United and Chelsea. I haven't spoken with Roma for a while. Will he remain in the capital? No comment."
Chelsea has also been linked with Conte's former defender with both Italy and Juventus, Leonardo Bonucci, and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibally. Yet, with the price for those two rising, the Daily Mirror claims that Chelsea is now pursuing Benfica center-back Victor Lindelof. The 22-year-old, who has been at Benfica since 2012 and played all three of Sweden's games at Euro 2016, could cost 25 million pounds ($32.8 million).