• The Italian is keen to recruit new defenders before the end of August.
  • Chelsea have been linked with Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli.

Chelsea are reportedly confident of signing two new defenders before the transfer window slams shut at the end of August. The Blues are known to be in the market for central defenders, but have been frustrated in their transfer dealings in recent weeks.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been linked with a £38m ($50.1m) bid for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and another bid for Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan. And while the Stamford Bridge club are yet to make a meaningful breakthrough in their transfer negotiations, they are confident of completing two more signings before 31 August, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Chelsea insist they will not increase their bid for Koulibaly, but have already had one bid for Romagnoli rejected, too. The 21-year-old centre-back is left-footed which is key to Chelsea's interest, because it would allow Conte to adopt a back three.

If their efforts to sign Romagnoli fail, the Chelsea boss will reportedly switch his attention to Torino's £25m-rated defender Nikola Maksimovic, who went on strike last week and is thought to be the most attainable of the Blues' defensive targets.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are also said to be in the market for a new full-back, with Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez reportedly available for around £17m. Another option for the Premier League club is right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, who worked with Conte during his spell in charge of Chelsea.

The rumours come shortly after Conte bemoaned the "crazy" prices being quoted for players. "We have a plan. We know this transfer market is very crazy," the Chelsea manager said. "We must be patient to find the right solutions for the team, to improve this squad. I'm very happy to work with these players. They show great commitment every day."