Chelsea have stormed to Premier League success this season but Antonio Conte will have work to do in the summer, with the Italian boss being aware the challenges next season will be significantly harder.
The Blues have no doubt benefitted from a lack of European involvement this season and their return to the Champions League next season will give Conte’s squad plenty to do, as they seek to remain competitive across all fronts.
Movement on the transfer market will take place and Italian outlet TuttoSport suggests the Blues will look to use Diego Costa’s uncertain future at Stamford Bridge to their advantage, by offering the Spanish striker as make-weight in a deal for Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore.
27-year-old Pastore is a target for Conte in the summer and Costa, who pushed for a return to Atletico Madrid last summer and attracted vast interest from China in January, could be sacrificed to make a deal happen.
What would Pastore give Chelsea?
Chelsea’s side this season has been near-perfect in their push for Premier League glory but on paper the squad needs improving significantly, especially if they’re to go toe-to-toe with the big guns in the Champions League next season.
Pastore would likely partner N’Golo Kante in the middle of the park at Stamford Bridge, in front of Conte’s preferred three-man defence and with wing-backs supporting on either side. Pastore would add creativity to Chelsea’s deep midfield pair, without sacrificing the blanket offered to the defence.
In a 3-4-3 system, Pastore would become a crucial player for the Blues and a potential midfield partnership with Kante would give Conte’s men a real platform for success.
Will Costa leave this summer?
The likelihood is that Diego Costa will end his stay with the Blues at the end of the season, following two seasons shrouded with controversy. Last year, before Jose Mourinho lost his job, Costa struggled to perform to the required standard and only upped his performance levels at the back-end of the season.
This year, the Spaniard has returned to his best in front of goal but has hit a decline in form following a very public clash with Conte in January, which came after the former Atletico Madrid man had his head turned by interest from the Chinese Super League.
Chelsea will want a player that’s committed to their cause and pushed to sign Celtic ace Moussa Dembele in January, with the Blues likely to revive that interest at the end of the season.