Chelsea transfer news: Antonio Conte weighs up move for free agent Martin Caceres to strengthen defence

Uruguay defender Caceres is available on a free transfer after leaving Juventus last season

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 06 September 2016 10:00 BST
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Martin Caceres is currently a free agent and has been linked with Chelsea, Inter Milan and Roma
Martin Caceres is currently a free agent and has been linked with Chelsea, Inter Milan and Roma (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Chelsea are weighing up a move for free agent defender Martin Caceres after he left Juventus at the end of last season, with Antonio Conte still unhappy with his defensive options.

Failed moves for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli led Conte to launch a surprise deadline day bid for former Chelsea star David Luiz, with the Brazilian completing a £30m move back to Stamford Bridge two years after his departure. Luiz adds to current first-choice pairing John Terry and Gary Cahill, while young France international Kurt Zouma continues his recovery from a serious knee injury, to give Conte plenty of options in defence.

But the Evening Standard reports that Conte could yet make another move even though the transfer window is closed, with free agent Caceres available to sign at any point during the season.

The 29-year-old worked under Conte during his time as Juventus manager, and the report states that the 47-year-old Italian manager will consider making a move for Caceres if he can prove his fitness in the next few weeks.

Caceres could remain in Italy with both Inter Milan and Roma also linked with potential offers after seeing Caceres play second fiddle to Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in Juventus’s three-man defence over the last few years.

One concern for Conte though is that Caceres has not played since February after he missed the end of the 2015/16 season with an Achilles injury.

Chelsea have struggled to land defensive transfer targets over the last year, having missed out on John Stones in 2015 when Everton blocked a £40m move only to allow the England international to move to Manchester City a year later in a £50m deal. The Blues also failed to persuade both Napoli and AC Milan to part ways with Koulibaly and Romagnoli last season, leading to the surprise move for Luiz.

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