CHELSEA boss Antonio Conte is set to raid his former club to sign Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, according to the Sun.
The pacy right-back arrived in Turin from fellow Serie A outfit from Lazio back in 2011 – just a month after Conte was appointed manager of Juve – and he has proven to be one of the best defenders in the league, helping the club to five straight league titles.
The paper reports that Lichtsteiner is ready to move on to a new challenge after winning a Scudetto in all of his five seasons in Serie A.
Conte has already offered Lichtsteiner a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge – with a guarantee of first-team football.
The same source claims the Switzerland international is keen to test himself in the Premier League but has requested a few days to make a decision as he prepares for his country’s opening Euro 2016 game against Albania on Saturday.
Although Lichtsteiner looks ideally suited to the intensity of the English game, and the figure of £12million represents good value for a player who can step straight into the team, he is 32 so would probably not be a long-term solution for the Blues.
As for the ‘guarantee’ of first-team football, that’s a very dangerous path for Conte to go down, particularly when bringing a former favourite player to a new club, with the potential to cause problems and team disharmony down the track if the defender’s form really tails off.
Lichtsteiner is under contract at Juve until 2017 but they appear wiling to let him go, with their own deal for Barcelona’s Dani Alves close to completion.