Chelsea have turned their sights to Fiorentina defender Marcos Alonso as they look to bolster their options at left-back. The former Bolton defender is expected to be made available for a fee in the range of £17m ($22m) and add a proper alternative to Cesar Azpelicueta, who is currently the only senior option on that front.
The Mirror reports that Chelsea have also considered offers for Cologne's Jonas Hector and Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez but have surprisingly fallen back on Alonso who started his career at Real Madrid. The Spaniard moved to Fiorentina in 2013 and has been an important member of the squad since, catching the eye of the Blues manager Antonio Conte.
Alonso is well acquainted with the Premier League, having spent three years in Bolton after making a move from Madrid, where he had made only one senior appearance. He also spent a half a season on loan at Sunderland in 2014, helping them stay up and will not take much time to habituate himself with the league should he move to Stamford Bridge.
Blues manager Antonio Conte has stated that Chelsea need a few defensive signings to challenge for the title but has found transfers very hard to come by this window. They have already signed Michy Batshuayi and N'Golo Kante this season but have struggled to make any further inroads in the market since.
"We didn't refuse to spend the money for the right targets," Conte insisted, as quoted by ESPN. "The situation is that the target is not available to buy and to spend the money on. Then I also told [them] that I'd prefer to spend a lot of money on the right great player, not on a medium player."
"We must understand that, now, in England every team has money. So you have to solve the problem with hard work. Sometimes you could solve the problem with money. Now you have to solve the problem with work. But that's fine. I have no problem. Work is the bread and butter."