Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini has fueled speculation ahead of a possible move to Chelsea after his agent, Furio Valcareggi, said he would welcome a move to Stamford Bridge.
Incoming manager Antonio Conte worked with Giaccherini while at Juventus, before the midfielder was sold to Sunderland for £6.5 million in 2013.
Conte has since called the 31-year-old up for his nation's campaign in France at Euro 2016. Giaccherini repaid his manager's faith by scoring in Italy's opening fixture against Belgium last week.
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However, since moving to the Premier League a few years ago, Giaccherini has failed to establish himself at Sunderland and never managed to secure his place in the side whilst battling relegation, before being sent out on loan to Bologna last season.
He had a solid season in Serie A with his newly promoted side, and scored seven goals in 28 games, whilst providing one assist, as Bologna finished 14th place in the league.
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Giaccherini looked set to continue his career in Italy, but his agent Valcareggi has recently suggested that the midfielder is happy to come back to England and open to a move to Chelsea.
Valcareggi told Italian television channel SportItalia, as per Sky Sports:
"Giaccherini is a player who played 80 per cent of the games for a Juventus that had Pogba, Pirlo, Vidal and Marchisio in the midfield.
"Conte likes him a lot and Chelsea would be a dream. It's still too early to talk about his future. After the Euros, whoever wants to buy him will not have to pay a high price to Sunderland."
It's likely that Chelsea will be on the lookout for a cheap midfielder over the summer and Valcareggi's comments suggesting that Sunderland won't be demanding a high price for his client will certainly put Conte on high alert.
The Italian manager will get a better idea than anybody about Giaccherini's ability over the next few weeks as the two work closely for Italy at Euro 2016.
The Azzurri have already qualified for the knockout stages of the tournament in France with one group game to spare, and they'll top the group with a win against Ireland today.
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