Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is preparing to go head-to-head with Jose Mourinho in the battle for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof.
Conte has made a world-class centre back his top priority for the summer. Subsequently, he has received very good reports for the Swede, according to The Mirror.
The 22-year-old has been constantly linked with Manchester United throughout this transfer window, and reports have now emerged that a £38 million bid will be placed by the Reds in the summer.
However, Mourinho’s plans might have been thrown haywire, as new reports claim Chelsea and Inter Milan are also interested in Lindelof now. Moreover, the Swedish international is apparently No.1 on Conte’s summer shopping list.
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The Blues were also linked with Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij, as their Italian manager looks to strengthen an already efficient back-line. With Benfica looking willing to cash in on their star players, Chelsea have turned their attention to Lindelof.
Furthermore, they are also interested in the club’s right back, Nelson Semedo. Benfica would want £35m for Semedo, according to The Mirror.
Lindelof was rated highly by Mourinho, and was almost a certainty to move in January, despite Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo’s excellent form. Benfica had other plans, though. Since they are going through a cash crunch at the moment, they decided to drive a high price, which stalled talks between the clubs.
With Chelsea joining the race, Mourinho would want to move quickly or lose his target to his former club.