Chelsea have been linked with a swoop for Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj but they face competition from AC Milan.
Boss Antonio Conte was recently spotted in the crowd during La Viola’s 2-1 defeat at Torino and it was suggested at the time that keeper Joe Hart, on loan at Il Toro from Manchester City, was his target.
However, it is now claimed that Croatia international Badelj was the reason Conte made the trip to Italy a fortnight ago.
Despite Conte taking a personal interest in Badelj the Blues could be set to miss out on the 27-year-old as AC Milan are ready to move in January, according to Goal, and Chelsea are more likely to wait until the summer.
The Rossoneri are believed to have seen a 16million euro offer knocked back in the summer but a serious injury to former Fiorentina man Ricardo Montolivo, which has also seen them linked with Cesc Fabregas, could see them reignite their interest in the January window.
Should Badelj remain with Fiorentina beyond the winter window Chelsea will make their move next summer but a January bid seems unlikely given the current midfield options at Conte’s disposal.
Fiorentina are keen to keep hold of the former Hamburg man and as such could resist an offer from the San Siro January, but as he is due to fall out of contract in 2018 the Tuscan outfit may well be convinced to sell rather than allow his value to drop going into the summer transfer window.