Antonio Conte could be forgiven for thinking he would have had the title wrapped up by now.
Chelsea’s recent defeats to Crystal Palace and Manchester United have opened the door for Tottenham to close the gap to four points, but it still looks as if the Blues have done enough.
While Conte’s players still need to get him over the line if he is to win silverware in his first season at Stamford Bridge, the Italian is already casting a furtive glance towards next season, when he will have European football to contend with.
The jury is out on whether the Champions League is a burden or a luxury, but Chelsea must strengthen for it regardless.
The Mirror report that Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko is among their chief targets, as Conte has identified him as the perfect midfield partner for N’Golo Kante.
Monaco have had a groundbreaking season in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League, but they are expected to cash in on the likes of Bakayoko and Kylian Mbappe.
The 22-year-old could replace Nemanja Matic or Cesc Fabregas, both of whom have struggled for consistency under Conte.
Bakayoko has recently made it into the France squad, which means he could find himself next to Kante for club and country next term.