According to Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport, Chelsea have identified an alternative in the shape of Mattia Caldara should they fail to land number one target Daniele Rugani this summer. The 24-year-old is a teammate of Rugani at Juventus but like his teammates, faces an uncertain future at the club.
Chelsea were expected to complete a swoop for Rugani earlier this week but their rather slow progress in the completion of the deal has left the Blues looking for a Plan B, in case the move falls through. It is understood that Juventus supposedly see Caldara as an investment and thus, could sell him to the highest bidder this summer.
The 24-year-old initially moved to Turin earlier this year, when he was snapped up for a fee of £17 million from Atalanta. However, he was immediately loaned back to Orobici, where he went on to make 34 appearances.
In fact, Caldara was one of the standout players for Atalanta last season as they made waves in European football. He had been a part of the club for a long time, having initially started his career at the Bergamo based outfit back in 2011.
During his six-year stint with the club, Caldara spent numerous spells out on loan before establishing himself as a first team regular in the 2016/17 season. Since then, he has made over 50 appearances in the Serie A and is regarded as one of the most improved defenders in the Italian top flight.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have a mammoth task of having to undergo a squad overhaul during the remainder of this ongoing transfer window. Following the arrival of Maurizio Sarri, the Blues have been very active in the market, having already snapped up highly rated Napoli midfielder Jorginho.
However, it’s the defensive department which potentially needs a reformation especially under the tactical philosophy of Sarri. While Cahill is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer having fallen completely out of favour, Antonio Rudiger is also unlikely to fit under Sarri’s tactical nous straightaway. Thus, Mattia Caldara is certainly a viable target for the Blues.
Like Rugani, the 24-year-old is also quite strong in ball-circulation which chimes in perfectly with Sarri’s methods, who puts a strong emphasis on build-up play from the back. If reports are to be believed, Juventus have already set a price tag of €45 million for Caldara.
Having said that, the Blues should definitely go all out to sign their priority target in Daniele Rugani. He is relatively younger and boasts much more potential although signing Caldara won’t be a bad option if they fail to land their first choice.