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With his involvement in the UEFA European Championship having come to an end, Antonio Conte has gotten to work at Chelsea, and the Italian will been keen to improve upon a squad which barely managed to finish inside the top half last season, after winning the Premier League in the previous campaign.
Conte impressed as Italy coach at Euro 2016, masterminding his country’s run to the quarter-finals after many had written them off before the tournament due to a perceived lack of quality.
So Conte gave Chelsea fans a glimpse of what they can expect next season; tactical expertise with the ability to foster a high level of discipline and team-spirit within any squad he is in command of.
But there is no doubt that the former Juventus coach will want to make a few signings first.
A new centre-back seems to be a priority, with moves for Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly both having been mentioned in the press of late.
The murmurings of a potential move for Lazio’s Felipe Anderson, though, have come from left-field, taking most observers by surprise.
The Football Whisper Index is giving Felipe Anderson’s potential Chelsea switch a rating of 4.5 out of five, which suggests that there is plenty of validity to the rumours that are currently circulating.
The reports of Chelsea’s interest in the Brazilian seem to have emerged from Italy, which might suggest that any press leak has come from either the player’s end or Lazio.
Anderson has recently changed agents, and is now being looked after by Giuliano Bertolucci who is affiliated with “super agent” Kia Joorabchian.
Joorabchian is known to have strong links within the Chelsea hierarchy, so it seems very likely that this is the root of the rumours.
Anderson has been linked with Manchester United several times over the last 12 months, with Lazio claiming they rejected a €50 million offer from the Red Devils for the one-cap Brazil international last summer.
The 23-year-old currently has four years remaining on his contract at the Stadio Olimpico, but he is thought to be unsettled at the Roman club, and would be very open to a move to the Premier League.
Anderson moved to Lazio from Santos three years ago for a fee of €7.8 million, and the talented attacker had a breakout season during the 2014-15 campaign, scoring 10 Serie A goals to help his club qualify for the Champions League.
But last season, the Brazilian struggled to rediscover his top form, and even spent a sustained period of time of the substitutes’ bench.
Anderson is an attacking midfielder capable of playing on either flank, or more centrally as a number 10. He possesses a rocket of a right-foot and has plenty of pace and individual skill.
However, the questions over his consistency and commitment, coupled with Chelsea’s relative depth in his position – Anderson would be competing for a place with Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar and
Despite having previously turned down as much as €50 million for the player, it is believed that Lazio would be willing to consider parting ways with their number 10 for a fee of around €30 million this summer.
It may be the case that any move for Anderson would signal a move away for either Oscar or Pedro, who have both struggled for form in recent months, and former Barcelona winger Pedro has been already linked with a move back to Spain this summer, just 12 months after he joined the Blues.
Felipe Anderson is not a player known for his tactical discipline, which would not make him an obvious fit to work with Conte, but the Italian coach would back himself to be able to mould the Brazilian into the type of player he desires. Although Anderson is probably considered a back-up option to his Lazio team-mate Antonio Candreva, who has also been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this summer.