Roman Abramovich turned to Antonio Conte to deliver a Premier League trophy.
After Jose Mourinho’s departure last season, Chelsea’s Russian owner was willing to wait until after Euro 2016 for Conte to arrive following his stint as Italy manager.
So, without an entire summer to bring in his preferred targets or to fully impress his style, Abramovich was probably wrong to expect instant success.
Yet we’ve seen over the years that this is the one thing the 49-year-old chases.
And given that Chelsea finished 10th last season, Abramovich probably feels even more of an urge to see his players lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the season.
Conte isn’t on the hot seat, despite the Blues falling to Liverpool and Arsenal this season. But Abramovich already realises the need for investment.
Splash the cash
That’s why he’s ready to give Conte the players he needs to turn the club back into a force not just in England, but in Europe.
According to the Telegraph, he is ready to pay a world-record fee for a defender, that defender being Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci and that fee being more than £60 million.
Bonucci, 29, has a close relationship with Conte having worked with him for Juventus and Italy. His comments earlier this year reveal just how highly Bonucci thinks of the 47-year-old.
“Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe,” the centre-back said.
“He is the boss, and if you listen to him and show him respect, you will see he is one of the best bosses in the game.
“The players in the Italy team nicknamed him The Godfather. That means when he talks, you listen. You do what he says and you don’t argue. Players want to listen, though.”
Two more players being monitored
Chelsea’s interest in Bonucci suggests the £30m paid for David Luiz in August was a panic buy.
The Italian isn’t the only world-class player being monitored by the west London out.
The Telegraph claim they are also keeping a close eye on Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has already scored seven goals this season.
Griezmann has a release clause of £87.9m, which Chelsea are ready to pay. With Dortmund confirming earlier this year that they will only listen to offers for Aubameyang starting at £78m, signing Bonucci, Griezmann and the Gabon international would cost at least £225.9m.
Sounds like Abramovich is getting desperate.
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