Chelsea transfer news: Blues ready to bankroll world-record defender deal for Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci

Roman Abramovich, the Blues owner, has been alarmed by their defensive struggles this term

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has reportedly received the green light to make a world-record bid for a defender in their attempts to sign Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus.

Roman Abramovich, the Blues owner, has been alarmed by their defensive struggles and is prepared to back Conte in the January transfer window to help the Italian restore the west London club as title and Champions League contenders.

Both Gary Cahill and David Luiz, who returned from Paris Saint-Germain for £30m this summer, have endured tough starts to the new campaign, conceding the same amount of goals as newly-promoted Burnley, and so Abramovich has agreed to act.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Conte lunched with the Russian billionaire last week where future transfer strategy was discussed and Chelsea are set to offer more than the £50m it took to take Luiz away from Stamford Bridge in 2014.

Signing Bonucci, widely considered the best defender in the world, would be a coup if the five-time champions of England were able to secure the 29-year-old’s signature although Juventus are likely to put up a fight after losing Paul Pogba to Manchester United.

Conte worked with the Italian centre-back for three years in Turin. Earlier this year Bonucci said: “Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe.

“He is the boss, and if you listen to him and show him respect, you will see he is one of the best bosses in the game. The players in the Italy team nicknamed him The Godfather. That means when he talks, you listen. You do what he says and you don’t argue. Players want to listen, though.”

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