Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso served as Chelsea's first-choice left wing-back in 2016-17 Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso insists that increased competition for places can only be a positive for the defending Premier League champions this season as reports regarding a big-money switch to Stamford Bridge for Juventus counterpart Alex Sandro continue to gather pace once more.

According to The Times, Chelsea are willing to spend £61m ($79.7m) to acquire the Brazilian international - a world-record fee for a defender that would eclipse Manchester City's recent signings of Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy.

Sandro is presumably viewed by manager Antonio Conte as an obvious upgrade on former Real Madrid, Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland defender Alonso, who made 35 appearances across all competitions in 2016-17 after arriving from Serie A outfit Fiorentina in a £23m deadline day deal.

However, the Spaniard does not appear particularly perturbed about such speculation and would clearly treat the arrival of a fellow left-back as motivation to improve and battle to keep hold of his starting job.

"This is Chelsea. We play in four competitions this year, so many games and competition can only be good for me and for the team," he told the Evening Standard. "That's it. I will just keep training, keep improving, keep doing well for the team and keep fighting."

Chelsea have spent in excess of £100m on four additions to their title-winning squad so far this summer, with former City goalkeeper Willy Caballero installed as Thibaut Courtois' new deputy following the sale of Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth. Centre-back Antonio Rudiger also arrived from AS Roma, while midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and striker Alvaro Morata joined from AS Monaco and Real Madrid respectively.

Links to Sandro are certainly nothing new, with Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirming last month that the Bianconeri had rejected a "very good offer" from Chelsea believed to be worth in the region of £52m. The 26-year-old is said to have been offered a new and improved contract worth £84,000-a-week in order to remain in Turin.

Pedro was deployed at left wing-back a few times under Conte last term, while Alonso's current back-up, Kenedy, could yet be sold before the end of the window after being sent home from Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East in the aftermath of two offensive social media posts that caused uproar in China.

Conte, who missed out on both Mendy and Danilo to City and also admitted that he tried to buy Walker, has claimed he is speaking to the club "every day" about transfers amid suggestions that he is looking to boost his squad's homegrown quota with potential moves for Everton contract rebel Ross Barkley, teammate Tom Davies and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Southampton trio Virgil van Dijk, Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares have also been linked, while Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently confirmed reports that Conte enquired as to the availability of in-demand Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches following a friendly clash between the respective clubs in Singapore earlier this week.