Chelsea have entered the race for highly-rated SS Lazio star Keita Balde Diao and are expected to place a £17m bid for the Senegalese international.
The winger scored an impressive 16 Serie A goals last term and Blues boss Antonio Conte is thought to be a keen admirer of the 22-year-old.
Typically a left-sided winger, Diao can be equally as effective on the opposite flank or as a secondary striker, a position in which the west Londoners are vying to strengthen.
As reported by La Repubblica, the Italian outfit will demand at least £26m for Diao so Conte’s reported opening offer will likely by rejected. However, with no major signings to date, the Premier League champions will have little concern in increasing their offer if need be.
[Football Italia staff] Chelsea have joined the race for Lazio’s Keita Balde with the fee beleived to be between £22-£26 million pic.twitter.com/jNkPJt755r
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) July 7, 2017
The Blues have had a somewhat painful transfer window so far as it appears they’ve missed out on long-term target Romelu Lukaku and the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Dries Mertens. Conte will be desperate to push through any deal for Diao as he manufactures his plans to lay down an assault on next season’s Champions League.
Typically, the Premier League champions alternate between the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro for their wide positions so the potential addition of Diao will add some much needed competition.
Liverpool tried to lure Diao to Anfield earlier in the window but have since opted to sign Roma’s Mo Salah instead, breaking their transfer record in the process.