Chelsea Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Antonio Rudiger and Michael Keane

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2016

ROME, ITALY - MAY 08:  Antonio Rudiger of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Olimpico on May 8, 2016 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been given the green light by Blues owner Roman Abramovich to raid the transfer market as he fine-tunes his defence to facilitate a Premier League title challenge.

Roma star Antonio Rudiger and Michael Keane of Burnley are two of the names on the Italian's wanted list as he prepares to show four players the exit door at Stamford Bridge.

Matt Law of the Telegraph reported a revamp of the squad will take place, as John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel and Cesc Fabregas prepare for their departures from west London. Conte has targeted Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, but if the Old Lady refuses to sell, he has a robust list of defenders on his shopping list.

According to the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel, Chelsea will have to battle Manchester United for the services of Rudiger, as Conte continues to scout the £35 million-rated defender.

The Blues boss is reportedly a "huge admirer" of Rudiger, but his initial interest in the player cooled after a serious knee injury, per Mokbel.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21:  Diego Costa of Chelsea is tackled by Michael Keane of Burnley during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on February 21, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Ima
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The Germany international is a burgeoning talent and would be a suitable alternative if Bonucci fails to land on the marketplace.

Keane is also on the Blues wish list, along with English talent Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough—according to Mokbel—as Conte adds depth to his current squad that is showing signs of rejuvenation after a tumultuous campaign last term.

The Italian might have to turn to his younger targets after Bonucci hinted he will be staying at his club, as highlighted by Bleacher Report UK:

B/R Football @brfootball

So, about those Leonardo Bonucci transfer rumours 👀 https://t.co/wJbM9evOha

Law reported Conte wants to revert to his favoured 4-2-4 formation, despite his team's recent success with 3-4-3. However, the coach needs to have the correct personnel in place to get the most from his preferred tactics.

Keane has grown in stature in recent months, forcing his way into the England squad after leaving Manchester United. The powerful defender has matured into a clever centre-back, appearing 11 times in the Premier League this term, according to WhoScored.com.

David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror recently reported Chelsea are prepared to part with £25 million to land the 23-year-old. Former England captain Rio Ferdinand lauded Keane after Burnley achieved an unexpected clean sheet at Old Trafford:

Rio Ferdinand @rioferdy5

Best 2 players for Burnley today at @manutd were players who came through the youth system...Tom Heaton & Michael Keane. Homegrown

Germany's forward Mario Goetze (L) reacts with teammates defender Antonio Rudiger (2nd L) and midfielder Thomas Mueller after scoring during the friendly football match Germany vs Italy in Munich, southern Germany on March 29, 2016. / AFP / PATRIK STOLLAR

Terry's expected departure at the end of the season will leave a huge hole in terms of quality and experience, so it is wise Chelsea look towards the next generation to find David Luiz a regular partner.

The Brazilian has been a huge success since returning from French football, proving he is more mature than his first stay at the Bridge.

However, he needs a rock next to him, allowing him to move out of the defence with the ball, utilising his ball skills and passing mandate.

Rudiger would be the ideal partner for Luiz, but Keane is a brave young talent who is proving he might have a future at the top of the English game for many years to come.


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