Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli following the rejection of their £30-million bid.
Milan are keen to keep hold of their prize centre back following an impressive season in which he made 34 starts for the Italian side, reports Sky Sports in Itlay.
The player’s quality showings have seen him favourably compared with Milan greats Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva by the press. Still just 21-years of age, the Italy U21 international only joined the club a year ago in a £21-million deal from Roma.
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has made no secret of his desire to add a defender to his ranks.
‘If you look now at our squad, we have only five defenders – four that started today and an academy player Ola Aina,’ he commented after his side narrow victory over Watford on Saturday.
‘He [Romagnoli] has great potential – but with any young player you must work to put them in the first team. Sure, he has a good future,’ the coach admitted.
The Blues have also been linked with a move for prized Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly but have been frustrated in their approach for the player.
‘If one defender is injured or banned, then we are in trouble, but the club and me we know this and we are talking every day to improve the squad,’ Conte concluded.
Chelsea’s next match sees them take on Bristol Rovers in the League Cup on Tuesday. The match will be played at Stamford Bridge.
Kick-off is at 20:45.
Photo: AC Milan Website