Antonio Conte has again turned to Serie A in his effort to reinforce Chelsea’s back line in the form of a Lazio and Netherlands defender.
Stefan de Vrij is the latest player from Conte’s former stomping ground Serie A to be linked with the Blues, according to Sportitalia.
The Sun states that Conte is ‘desperate’ to sign a defender before the transfer window slams shut, and has been rebuffed in attempts to sign a pair from Italy already.
Chelsea have had substantial offers for Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli rejected by Napoli and AC Milan respectively as frustration grows at Stamford Bridge.
De Vrij played over 40 times for the Roman club last season in all competitions, and it is believed an offer of £21million should be enough for Chelsea to at least begin talks.
Lazio signed the 24-year-old from Feyenoord back in 2014 for a fee of £6million, and the Eagles’ lack of time to find a replacement may make the deal difficult.
The Chelsea boss admitted earlier in the month that a new defender was a top priority before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.
“If you look now at our squad, we have only five defenders – four that started today and an academy player Ola Aina.
“Ola is very good – he has great potential – but with any young player you must work to put them in the first team. Sure, he has a good future.
“If one defender is injured or banned, then we are in trouble, but the club and me we know this and we are talking every day to improve the squad.
“We know that this market is very difficult. It’s crazy. I don’t want to buy only to buy. I want to buy the right profile for Chelsea, the right investment for the solution and for the future.”