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Chelsea’s Two Main January Wing-Back Targets Revealed By The Times


Chelsea are looking to pad out their squad ahead of the home stretch of the Premier League title race.

Antonio Conte’s side are currently five points clear of Liverpool at the top of the league table, and are overwhelming favourites to win their second domestic title in three years. However, the manager is constantly looking for ways to improve.

Central to Chelsea’s title charge has been Conte’s 3-4-3 formation which, before the recent 2-0 defeat at Tottenham, had sparked a record-equalling 13-game winning streak to build up such a strong lead at the summit.

COBHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06:  Antonio Conte, Chelsea mananger, is pictured during a press conference at Chelsea Training Ground on January 6, 2017 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The wing-back positions are currently being filled by new signing Marcos Alonso and resurgent Victor Moses but there is little in the way of depth – the Times are therefore reporting that Conte is looking to bring in Cologne’s Jonas Hector and Michail Antonio of West Ham this month to provide competition and rotation options.

German international Hector was previously linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last season before Conte eventually signed Alonso on deadline day. The 26-year-old has been ever-present in the Bundesliga season, and despite his happiness at Cologne, his head may be turned by the prospect of Champions League football next season.

COLOGNE, GERMANY - DECEMBER 21: Jonas Hector of FC Koeln (L) takes the ball past Benjamin Henrichs of Bayer Leverkusen (R) during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koeln and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at RheinEnergieStadion on December 21, 2016 in Cologne, Germany.  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Likewise with Antonio. Also 26, the versatile player has been one of the few shining lights in what has been a poor season for West Ham. Having just broken into the England squad set-up, staying in a struggling club side could have a negative impact on his international chances.

As such, he may feel that now may be a good time to leave the London Stadium, rather than risk potentially being sucked into a relegation battle with the Hammers.

SWANSEA, WALES - DECEMBER 26:  Leon Britton of Swansea City (l) challenges Michail Antonio of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Swansea City and West Ham United at Liberty Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Conte has previously stated that he will add to his squad in the winter transfer window if he deems it necessary and the right players are available. Having lost Oscar and John Obi Mikel to the Chinese Super League, Chelsea have been linked with central midfielders Tiemoué Bakayoko and Franck Kessié, as well as defenders Niklas Sule and Djibril Sidibé.

The club has already confirmed, meanwhile, that defender Nathan Aké has been recalled having been impressed on loan at Bournemouth in the first half of this season.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.