Premier League champions Chelsea are 48 hours away from beginning their summer transfer business in earnest, with a spending spree of upwards of £130m (€148.1m) expected in the coming week. Antoine Conte has made a handful of low-key additions including Willy Caballero from Manchester City, but his efforts to build a squad capable of retaining the title and challenging in the Champions League will start in the next few days.
The Evening Standard understand sthat the first of those additions is expected to be Monaco's Tiemoue Bakayoko, who made 51 appearances last season for the Ligue 1 champions and has been touted as the long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic. The France international has passed a medical and agreed personal terms ahead of a £35m move to Stamford Bridge, which should be concluded this week.
Seemingly joining Bakayoko is Roma defender Antonio Rudiger, who is in west London for talks over a £33.3m move. The 24-year-old missed the first part of last season with a knee injury – a blow that scuppered his move to the Blues last summer – but is fit again and ready to move to England.
With two deals in the offing, Chelsea are entering a third week of talks over signing Alex Sandro from Juventus. The Brazilian has been offered wages of £100,000-a-week by Chelsea, but they would require a £61m offer to lure him from the Champions League runners-up.
A bid of that size would make him the most expensive player in their history, eclipsing Fernando Torres' £50m move from Liverpool in January 2011. Paris-Saint Germain are also said to be interested, and with Juve already looking at replacements Sandro's exit appears to be only a matter of time.
His agent Davide Lippi said: "The dream move would be if Juventus sold Alex Sandro. They paid €28m and if Chelsea offer €70m, they would make a massive profit. They could replace him with a player just as strong, like [Leonardo] Spinazzola."
Of the low-key additions made by Chelsea this summer alongside Caballero, Billy Gilmour has joined from Rangers while Ethan Ampadu has moved for an undisclosed fee from Exeter City. Both players will operate with the club's academy and reports have suggested that Dutch youngster Daishawn Redan would join the duo for the new campaign. Images have now emerged confirming that the Ajax protégé has moved to Chelsea with the remainder of the club's scholars for the 2017-18 campaign expected to be confirmed this week.