With Antonio Conte officially unveiled as the new Chelsea boss, thoughts have immediately turned to who will be joining the Italian at Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks.
Joao Mario of Sporting Lisbon was one player linked with a move to the Blues, though reports have now emerged that he has all but agreed a move to Inter Milan.
According to The Sun, a fee of £29 million has been agreed for the midfielder, who is set to sign a five-year deal that will also mean a significant increase in wages.
Mario and Portugal won Euro 2016 after beating hosts France in extra time in last Sunday night’s final, with the player continuing to display the form he produced last season for Sporting that saw him linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea this summer. However, it appears Roberto Mancini and Inter Milan have won the race for the highly-rated midfielder.
The newspaper reports that the player will be bought by Jiangsu Suning of the Chinese Super League and then immediately loaned out to Inter Milan for the coming term. The owner of the Chinese club is also a significant investor in the Serie A side – though any agreement will have to be completed on Friday, when the transfer for the Chinese Super League window closes.
Proper excited for next season with Conte and the new signings. Never thought I’d say this after last season’s nightmare.
— Batoul (@BatoulHussein) July 15, 2016
Chelsea have been linked with a bid for N’Golo Kante with reports emerging on Twitter on Friday that a deal between the two clubs has now been agreed.
Breaking | N’Golo Kanté to Chelsea is done, according to @mohamedbouhafsi.
€36m deal, 5 year contract, medical in 48 hours.
— Get French Football (@GFFN) July 15, 2016
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena