Chelsea Transfer News: Paul Pogba, Antonio Conte Plan Reported, Latest Rumours

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2016

Juventus’ Paul Pogba walks on the pitch during a Serie A soccer match between Frosinone and Juventus, at Frosinone's Comunale stadium, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Riccardo De Luca/Associated Press

Juventus star Paul Pogba will reportedly be a £70 million target for Antonio Conte in the summer if the current Italy boss gets the top job at Chelsea.

Recent reports have suggested that Conte is the Blues' No. 1 target to take over the manager's role at Stamford Bridge when Guus Hiddink leaves his interim position at the end of the current campaign, per David Woods in the Daily Star.

In his latest meeting with the west London club, Conte reportedly gave Chelsea a list of transfer targets, and Pogba, 22, is top of his wanted list, per the Daily Mail's Kieran Gill.

Given their awful 2015-16 season thus far, Chelsea undoubtedly need to add significant reinforcements to their squad in the summer.

However, their likely lack of Champions League football next season will surely limit the stature of player they are able to attractand Pogba is one of the biggest stars in the world, and one of the most sought after, per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones:

Conte, though, has a history with Pogba and is one of the few men who might be able to persuade the former Manchester United man to join Chelsea.

The 46-year-old manager signed the France international from the Red Devils in 2012 when he was in charge at Juventus, and the pair went on to win back-to-back Serie A titles together.

Per Gill, the central midfielder once said of Conte: "He is the perfect man to help me achieve my aims."

Thus the Italian may be able to coax Pogba into a Chelsea shirt, and the Blues could certainly afford to stump up for a £70 million bid—he would likely be worth every penny given his immense quality and potential for further improvement.

Italian outlet Calciomercato, though, indicates that £70 million will not be enough to snap up Pogba, as Juve will only accept offers in the region of €120 (£93.3 million), and the star's agent, Mino Raiola, has "made it clear" that salary demands will be €11-12 million (£8.6-9.3 million) a year.

Even for Chelsea, that is serious money, and it would require them to break the world-record transfer fee to sign Pogba.

According to Gill, Conte's list of targets also included Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez, and Paris Saint-Germain duo Marco Verratti and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Gimenez would be an excellent addition at Chelsea as he has been a key part of Atleti's brilliant defence this season, per Squawka:

The Blues' central defence is in desperate need of rebuilding, not least because the ageing John Terry is set to depart the club at the end of the season, and Kurt Zouma is now set for a six-month lay-off.

Gimenez, 21, is exactly the type of signing who could bolster the Blues defence in the long term as he could be a regular fixture, alongside Zouma, for many years to come.