Why Juventus are leading Chelsea in chase of breakout defensive star

Chelsea have once again today been named in connection with Riccardo Calafiori of Bologna.

After helping his team to a great season, the defender shone for Italy at the Euros. Now they’re out, and his future can be decided.

According to CaughtOffside’s exclusive from Charles Watts, Arsenal and Juventus are our main rivals for the classy defender’s signature, with Juve leading the race as they’ve appointed the youngster’s coach from last season as their new top man:

“Calafiori has obviously put himself in a shop window with his performances at the Euros. Several top clubs are looking at him, but the expectation right now is that he would favour a move to Juventus over all other options. At the moment there seems to be a bit of animosity between Bologna and Juventus, however, because of Thiago Motta’s decision to move to Turin, so Bologna are looking to make life as difficult as possible for Juventus as they look to lure Calafiori away as well.

“For Bologna, it is of course very beneficial to have Arsenal and Chelsea looking at the player as that could strengthen their hand when it comes to any future negotiations with Juventus.”

Riccardo Calafiori playing for Italy.

Chelsea’s priorities changing

If you’d asked us a few weeks ago, we’d have said that signing a new centre back is very, very low on Chelsea’s list of priorities.

But now we’re hearing more and more whispers that a left sided centre back is in fact a position that the club are looking to strengthen. Those reports say that Calafiori is considered among the best options on the market in that role.

Arsenal’s threat is significant, of course, but we do have one interesting advantage in the fact that they’ve already got a very good and very established pair of starting central defenders. Calafiori will know he has to push past them to be a certain starter. At Chelsea, while there are a lot of options, none have really established themselves as unstoppable just yet – apart from Trevoh Chalobah, who looks likely to be sold.

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