Chelsea will be looking to add a lot more depth to their squad in the summer as they prepare to take part in the Champions League next season and have been linked with a move for three Southampton defenders. The Blues were first linked with a move for their in-demand centre-back Virgil Van Dijk and then their former player in Ryan Bertrand. Now, Cedric Soares' name is doing the rounds.
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Acquiring three Southampton's players who make up their defensive line will be next to impossible for Chelsea but reports say that Antonio Conte wants to sign at least one of those players. Conte's 3-4-3 formation has worked wonders for Chelsea this season but it also goes to show how dependent he is on this group of players, particularly on his wing backs.
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In Chelsea's most recent Premier League match against Crystal Palace, which they surprisingly lost 2-1, Victor Moses was ruled out and Conte was forced to play Pedro in that position and it showed how important he is to their squad. It's the same case with Marcos Alonso at the opposite flank. Despite bringing back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, Conte does not seem to be confident about his abilities and is keeping his options open.
The former Juventus manager wants to add more depth to his squad and wants to sign two players with similar attributes to Moses and Alonso. At the moment Chelsea do not have players who can directly take over from Moses and Alonso and signing Bertrand and Soares will provide them with a back-up option and competition for a place in the starting 11.
Soares has been one of Southampton's most consistent players this season and has been linked with a move to Barcelona too as they are having their own issues at the right-back. Persuading Southampton to sell three of their best players will be way too difficult for Chelsea.
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Southampton made it clear this season that Van Dijk is definitely not for sale and Bertrand has four years left on his current deal, while Soares' contract expires in 2020. However, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has never been shy to spend money and he will certainly not stop now as he looks to get Chelsea back to top.
The prospect of competing for the Premier League title and playing in the Champions League might be too tempting to resist for the likes of Van Dijk, Bertrand and Soares. However, Southampton manager Claude Puel will have no plans on selling three of his top defenders in one transfer window.
Check out some of Cedric Soares best defensive work in this video.