Roman Abramovich can no longer be accused of not giving his backing to Antonio Conte.
The Italian manager is a little less beleaguered after the Blues’ 2-0 win over Hull last weekend, but the pressure building at Stamford Bridge is yet to dissipate entirely.
Defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal raised serious questions about the club’s ability to challenge for the title this season, though that’s only to be expected after the tenth-placed finish of the last campaign.
That was the worst of the Abramovich era, so unsurprisingly, the billionaire is intent on making sure Chelsea do everything they can to finish in the top four, at the very least.
According to the Telegraph, Abramovich’s support – as usual – is coming in the form of finance.
The Russian is willing to allow Conte to spend £60million on Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci in January – which would be a world record fee for a defender – following complaints that the manager was only allowed to sign one player from his summer wishlist.
Bonucci, if he arrives, would be a huge signing, and would bring plenty of experience having won so much silverware with Juve. He’s also a man Conte knows well from his time as Italy manager.
If Chelsea are to compete, Conte is right to have identified their defence as the one area which needs improving, so bringing in his compatriot would go a long way towards achieving that.