Chelsea could make a shock £45m move for Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne as a replacement for Real Madrid transfer target Eden Hazard.
In one of the more baffling stories so far this summer, The Sun has claimed that the Blues are lining Insigne up as Hazard’s replacement if Los Blancos decide to make a monumental bid for the Belgian superstar.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte coached Insigne during his time in charge of the Italian national side, and regularly utilised the diminutive forward’s pace and trickery to good effect during his three-year tenure.
Hazard has been offered a staggering £300k-a-week contract to reject the overtures of Real Madrid and extend his stay at Stamford Bridge but, in the event that the 26-year-old opts to depart, Chelsea believe they can entice Napoli to sell Insigne to them.
Insigne rattled in 20 goals in all competitions for Napoli last term as he helped fire the Serie A club to a third-placed league finish, a Champions League last-16 place and the Italian Cup semi-finals.
That form and level of performance would certainly prove useful for Conte in west London, but the Blues would have to stump up a sizable amount of cash to bring him to the Premier League given that Insigne only penned a new long-term deal worth £100k-a-week with the Naples-based side in April.
Lorenzo Insigne on Napoli: “It was my dream to stay at this club. Over the next five years, I hope to win a few trophies here.” pic.twitter.com/Kjt7DZ8RJl
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 12, 2017
That, along with the fact that Hazard is currently sidelined for three months with a broken ankle, would throw serious spanners in the works if Chelsea were officially interested in luring Insigne away from the Stadio San Paolo, and it could well be that this particular rumour is just The Sun putting two and two together to make five.
Insigne was a reported target for Chelsea’s league rivals Liverpool and Arsenal throughout the 2016/17 season, but they were prevented from attempting to land the Napoli youth product after he put pen-to-paper on his new contract.
Insigne has netted 49 goals and made 49 assists in 216 appearances for Napoli since his first-team debut in January 2010.
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