Conte wants Serie A duo but doesn’t rate Stones

Date published: Sunday 27th March 2016 11:04

John Stones: Antonio Conte doesn't rate Everton defender

John Stones: Antonio Conte doesn't rate Everton defender

Antonio Conte is not interested in signing John Stones for Chelsea and is instead hoping to add two Serie A stars to his squad at Stamford Bridge.

Stones was the subject of several failed bids from Chelsea last summer when Jose Mourinho was in charge, but the Daily Star Sunday says Conte ‘is not convinced about Stones at all’ and sees Juventus and Italy centre-back Leonardo Bonucci as a better option and better value.

Bonucci, 28, is apparently valued at £25million, half of what Everton want for Stones, and so Chelsea will not enter any bidding war for the England international if Manchester United, Manchester City or Barcelona follow up their reported interest in the 21-year-old.

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, says Chelsea are pressing ahead with their bid to sign Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan ahead of confirmation of Conte’s appointment as manager.

Conte has ‘identified a need to add more energy and defensive discipline to Chelsea’s engine room’, the newspaper claims, and sees Nainggolan as a player he can entrust with ideas as he finds his own feet in the Premier League.

Roma paid £7million to sign Nainggolan from Cagliari last summer after a successful loan spell, but the Eternal City club apparently now value the 27-year-old at around £35million.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle believes Conte can restore success at Stamford Bridge.

“The coach has the qualities to do well in any tournament. If he does choose to come to the Premier League then he’ll be very welcome,” Pelle told Rai Sport.

“It’s a tough league, but I am convinced Conte will do well. I advise him to be himself, as he is a winner and changing culture or league won’t modify his attitude. He just needs to change his language! So I advise him to study English.”

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