Chelsea suffered a big setback in their pursuit of Juventus left-back Alex Sandro as the Serie A Champions have reportedly rejected their initial bid. The Premier League Champions had made a decent bid of £52 million for the Brazilian international and are likely to come up with a better one now.
Antonio Conte enjoyed a smooth sail in his debut season in the Premier League as his men went through the challenge unhindered after an initial stumble. The Italian will forever be remembered for his season-changing tactics of a back three defence, which is still to be answered by their opponents. Although the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal did find the solution eventually, it was very late by then.
However, it should be noted that Chelsea’s easy run was largely influenced by their laid-back schedule where they hardly had midweek fixtures to play. Conte was the only manager to field a mostly unchanged squad for most of the season. It did backfire though, as the Italian boss was out of options when his wing back setup failed against Arsenal in the FA Cup final as he was left with no plan B.
Getting Sandro is all the more essential for this reason primarily. In Marcos Alonso, Chelsea do have a quality wing back, who moves up and down the flank quite well and even gives some delicious crosses, but there is hardly anyone to take his place when he is absent.
Azpilicueta has cemented his position as a centre-half and Conte isn’t willing to move him to the flanks now. Sandro, on the hand, would be the perfect option to come in given his unparalleled stamina a go on that left flank and his superior strength to outmuscle opponents on the counter attacks could be a blessing for Chelsea.
He has been a regular under Max Allegri the last term with 41 appearances for Juventus, scoring three goals and assisting seven times. He also played a crucial part in Juventus’ Champions League final game against Real Madrid, where Los Blancos were held firm in the first half.
The youth product of Brazilian side Clube Atlético Paranaense, Sandro wasted no time in breaking into their first team. It was followed by Uruguayan side Club Deportivo Maldonado picking him up soon. He was sent on a season-long loan to Brazil’s legendary side Santos FC, following which Portuguese giants FC Porto bought him in 2011. He was impressive there and Juventus bought him in 2015.
Reportedly, Chelsea are now willing to bid £55 million for him now, which reflects Conte’s admiration for the player and how important his addition would be for the Blues.