Chelsea have reportedly identified Inter Milan duo Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni as potential new defensive recruits.
This comes from the lips of Sport Mediaset, who whispered quietly yesterday that the Blues had the Inter pairing in their sights.
Both defenders were at the heart of the I Nerazzurri’s title triumph last term.
Aside from a small period of isolation due to covid protocols and the odd suspension, the two centre-backs couldn’t be separated.
Skriniar’s performances especially put him back on the map of Europe’s top buyers, in particular Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs have been admirers of the Slovakian for some time and wanted to sign him in the summer, but failed in their attempts to do so.
He has been a pretty permanent fixture for Inter following his arrival from Sampdoria in 2017.
“He has always been the leader on and off the pitch,” said Tibor Goljan, a former coach of the Slovak, shortly after he donned the famous black and blue jersey.
Interested in Inter’s defenders
The 26-year-old is contracted until 2023. It will take an almighty effort to prize him away from the San Siro.
According to Fabrizio Romano, he was valued at around £43m when Tottenham first attempted to strike a deal with the Italian champions.
Of course, Skriniar’s stock has probably risen after another strong campaign with the Serie A giants.
Prizing his partner away won’t be any easier either.
Bastoni arrived at Inter the month after Skriniar, yet didn’t instantly settle in Milan.
He spent a few seasons on loan before establishing himself under Antonio Conte.
Already capped with the Italian national team, the young centre-half has a very promising future ahead of him.
Chelsea are still evidently in the hunt for extra options at the back, following their failed attempt to land Jules Kounde.
They might revisit the Kounde saga in January, or try and suss out other alternatives, such as Skriniar and Bastoni.
Perhaps the Blues could use Romelu Lukaku’s presence as a pulling factor, the Belgiun a colleague of the couple during his Inter days.