Chelsea are keeping their cards close to their chest when it comes to the potential arrival of Roma duo Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmeri.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
It has been reported that Chelsea have bid $72.5 million for the pair, with Dzeko, 31, fitting the ball for the target forward they’ve been searching for.
Speaking to the media ahead of Chelsea’s League Cup semifinal second leg at Arsenal on Wednesday, Conte was tight-lipped over the approach for Dzeko and left back Palmeri.
“I don’t know. As you know very well about the transfer market, if there are news the club will inform you,” Conte said.
As for Roma, they have acknowledged that Dzeko, the former Manchester City striker, has been impacted by the talks surrounding his future.
Speaking ahead of their game against Sampdoria on Wednesday, manager Eusebio Di Francesco had the following to say about Dzeko’s future.
“As things stand at the moment, he will. Obviously I’m going to have to assess things and see what frame of mind he’s in. I’ll speak to him about it,” Di Francesco said.
With Roma fighting for the Italian title and in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, it’s tough to understand why they would want to offload Dzeko in January. However with Dzeko now 31, Roma could recoup all of the $40 million they paid to Man City (and then some) for the Bosnian forward in 2015. That’s a decent deal for them after getting two-and-a-half seasons and 61 goals in 117 appearances in all competitions (46 goals in 88 Serie A games) from Dzeko.
The man who won the Premier League title twice with Man City may also feel like he has a little left to prove in England as he fell behind Sergio Aguero and many others in the pecking order towards the end of his time at the Etihad Stadium. It is also believed Dzeko will almost double his wages if he moves from Roma to Chelsea.
With Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll mentioned as potential signings for Chelsea as Conte looks for a big man to mix up his attacking options, Dzeko is by far the most prolific name mentioned and he must have previously impressed Chelsea this season after scoring twice against them in a 3-3 Champions League draw at Stamford Bridge in October.
Alvaro Morata is out of form and has struggled with injuries, plus Michy Batshuayi has struggled to deliver whenever he has stepped in so far so this season, getting a reliable back-up striker has become the main aim for a Chelsea side in third place in the Premier League table and still in the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League.
As for Palmeri, the deal for the Brazilian born left back, 23, will see him become a valuable squad member and add depth at left wing-back with no real options to back up Marcos Alonso. Think of a left-footed Davide Zappacosta who steps in admirably for Victor Moses at right wing-back whenever needed.
With Cesar Apzilicueta now a permanent fixture at center back, Conte needs help at left back, especially as he revealed on Tuesday that a loan deal for Kenedy to Newcastle United is all but complete.