Antonio Conte has a lot of work to conduct in the transfer market if he is to make Chelsea a force on the continent as well as defend their Premier League crown.
That is the view of ex-Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, who was quoted by the Daily Mirror as he warned his compatriot faced a much sterner second season in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Conte has so far managed to sign just two first-team players ahead of the 2017/18 campaign and missed out on key target Romelu Lukaku as rivals Manchester United poached him from under their noses for a fee that could rise to a world record £90m.
The Italian has been left angry over Chelsea’s slow progress in acquiring new players to bolster his squad in the close season, and Ancelotti admitted that Conte still had plenty more to do to catch the likes of United and Manchester City in bringing in talented stars to strengthen his own side.
Ancelotti commented: “Conte will be forced to change something, as he won the Premier League using practically the same players all the time. In the Champions League, he’ll need to buy a lot and buy well.”
The £35m arrival of Roma centre-back Antonio Rudiger sparked a slight sense of relief among Chelsea’s fanbase after the free signing of Willy Caballero had been the only new arrival before last Friday.
Diego Costa fell out with Antonio Conte & Conte has had enough. Told “Costa is finished at Chelsea for sure”. Sad way for CFC career to end
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 10, 2017
The Londoners are still looking to tie up a £35m deal to bring Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko to England, but United are also thought to be ready to scoop the France international up to further compound Chelsea’s transfer misery.
A £60m move for Juventus left-back Alex Sandro has also hit the rocks after the Scudetto champions offered the Brazil international a lucrative new contract to remain in Turin, and Conte is now hoping to get revenge on I Bianconeri by scuppering their move for Real Madrid right-back Danilo instead.
Conte is yet to end speculation over his own future with the Blues as a reported four-year deal remains unsigned on the table, and it seem that the 47-year-old will wait to see how the rest fo the window pans out before deciding whether to commit his immediate future to Chelsea.