Antonio Conte.

Chelsea set to splash out £15m on a Russian sensation in January

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Antonio Conte's Chelsea are expected to strengthen in January following an underwhelming start to the 2017/18 season.

The Blues won the title last season but - trailing Manchester City by 11 points - have struggled to keep up with the two Manchester clubs.

They were beaten 1-0 by relegation threatened West Ham on Saturday to end any lingering hopes of a title bid.

Conte said: "When you lose against Palace, when they are bottom of the table, and lose again against West Ham when they are in a bad position - if you lose points in these games, you are not in the title race.

"You have to change. We have to do our best this season, but this season I said it would be very difficult. This is the truth."

Conte has repeatedly criticised the Chelsea board over the club's transfer business over the summer - and they may have learnt their lesson in time for the January transfer window.

Chelsea identify January signing

According to The Sun, Chelsea have identified the man they hope will improve their fortunes in west London.

Despite the summer arrivals of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater, Chelsea are prepared to spend £15m on CSKA midfielder Aleksandr Golovin.

CSKA Moskva v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League

The 21-year-old Russian international is being tipped to be a star at the 2018 Russia World Cup.

Understanding of his need for first team football ahead of the greatly anticipated international tournament, Chelsea may allow him to remain at CSKA Moscow for the rest of the season.

"Golovin should not be out of place at Chelsea. He is the best young player in Russia at the moment," CSKA stalwart Vasily Berezutsky said about reports linking him to England.

The versatile midfielder has previously identified former Chelsea midfielder Alexey Smertin as a role model of his as a youngster, as per ESPN.


Golovin has also spoken highly of N'Golo Kante and watched videos of the Frenchman to improve his defensive attributes.

"I watched a lot of videos of from Italy, and also thoroughly studied the game of my favourite defensive midfielder, N'Golo Kante," Golovin said.

He could be lining up with the 26-year-old Ballon d'Or nominee sooner than he imagined.

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