In their last two Premier League games, Chelsea have been playing in a 3-5-2 formation. A situation which means the Blues could do with the signing of another central midfielder. And with reports constantly linking Willian away from the club, Conte must be keen on the signing of a replacement in this position.
Now it appears the defending Premier League champions are already working to bring one in. This is as reports claim Chelsea have joined the chase for the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder, Bernard. Arsenal and Liverpool have already been linked with the signing of the player but Chelsea hope they can beat the duo to his signature.
Chelsea’s long-term interest in the player could also work in their favour. The Blues were linked with his signing back in 2013 but he chose to go to Ukraine instead. Bernard has recently been linked with a move back to his homeland, in particular with Brazilian club Palmeiras. Palmeiras were thought to be the favourites for the signature of the 25-year-old but all that seems to have changed with his representatives confirming the player would like to remain in Europe.
The good thing for Chelsea and other clubs interested in signing Bernard is that his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk expires in June 2018, which means they could sign him on a free transfer at the end of the current season. It is however believed that Chelsea fear it would be too risky to wait until next summer to sign him as they could lose out on him to another interested club, and so they are ready to pay £11.5 million to sign him this January instead.
Although Bernard is a key player for Shakhtar Donetsk I strongly believe they would cash in on him for £11.5 million this January, rather than losing him on a free transfer next summer. A situation that could work in the favour of Chelsea.