Chelsea remain in the race for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci and Blues manager Antonio Conte is confident he can fend off competition to sign his former player.
The Italian international would cost around £48m with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City all interested, according to The Sun
The latter came closest to signing the 30-year-old last summer with City manager Pep Guardiola rating the imperious centre-back as the finest in the world.
Nevertheless, Chelsea believe they can fend off the advances of their rivals and will utilise the wealth of Roman Abramovich in their pursuit of Bonucci, who Conte coached previously at Juve and for the Italian national team.
The Blues are ready to offer the defender £115,000-a-week as they prepare for life without John Terry.
It has been suggested that the Italian would be the perfect replacement for the outgoing Englishman but given Terry’s lack of playing time throughout the season, the Juve man would want assurances of first team football.
This would mean that Conte would have to think about shifting one member of his favoured centre-back trio to the bench.
However, with supposed family ties in Italy – a move to foreign shores may not be on his agenda.
The Old Lady may have the likes of Danielle Rugani in reserve but losing a player of his ilk would be a blow to their progression made this season. However, back in April, Bonucci was very positive when discussing the Premier League, suggesting that a move may not be out of the question.
He said: “It fascinates me. When I can, I watch English games, and not only for the quality of the players on display.
“I’m hot-headed, and I love the passion that exudes from their packed stands.
“It’s for that kind of thing that I’m the first on the training pitch and the last to return to the changing room.”