Chelsea’s search for a central defender this summer became something of an ordeal.
Having seen very public pursuits of Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan knocked back due to the Italian sides’ determination to keep hold of their players, the Blues eventually re-signed David Luiz for £32m on a busy deadline day at Stamford Bridge.
However, boss Antonio Conte is still reportedly not entirely happy with Chelsea’s defensive options, and Italian outlet Calciomercato are reporting that the club are considering a move for Uruguayan international Martin Cáceres.
The 29-year-old is known to Conte from their time together at Juventus, and the fact that he is available on a free transfer means that he can be signed outside of the transfer window.
The versatile defender was once highly-regarded enough for Barcelona to spend €16.5m on him, but he has never lived up to his potential.
Cáceres arrived at the Juventus Stadium in January 2012, having previously been there on loan three years earlier. However, his career at the club has been blighted due to injury problems. In all, he has made just 89 appearances for the Bianconeri in his four-and-a-half year spell, and has often found his path into the first team blocked by Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
The emergence of young Daniele Rugani saw Cáceres fall further down the long-term pecking order, and he was released by the Serie A winners at the end of last season.
Napoli were also reportedly tracking him, but their deadline day move for Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic has likely cooled their interest.
His injury history could put an end to any potential deal, however. Conte has asked to look through the Cáceres’ history before deciding whether or not to offer him a contract. He may decide that with Luiz, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic at the club that he is ultimately suitably covered in defence, but likewise he may feel that handing one of his former players a short-term deal could be beneficial.