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Report: Conte eyeing Cuadrado, Nainggolan for Chelsea


Reportedly set to become Chelsea's manager after the Euro 2016 tournament in France, current Italy boss Antonio Conte is said to be looking to build a Blues squad around Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado and Roma's merchant of robust tackles, Radja Nainggolan.

Poised to take over for interim gaffer Guus Hiddink in the summer, Conte has provided the club with a list of players he wants, according to Fabrizio Romano and Marcus Christenson of the Guardian.

Cuadrado, 27, is on Chelsea's books after joining the Blues in 2015 from Fiorentina for a fee of £23.3 million, though the Colombian international has admitted his desire to stay in Italy. The pacey winger made only 14 appearances under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, with just four starts and no goals.

The 47-time capped international has since regained his form at Juventus, which is surely a coincidence for Conte, who tried to sign the player at the end of the 2013-14 season while at the helm of the four-time running Scudetto champs.

Juventus would like to permanently retain the services of Cuadrado, but faces an obstacle as Chelsea failed to include a buyout clause in his contract.

Like Cuadrado, Nainggolan has been one of the more influential players in Serie A, and the merchant of bone-shattering tackles would be well suited to the physical nature of the English top flight.

Chelsea's midfield has been a key contributing factor to the club's difficulties this season, as both Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic have been overrun on numerous occasions, prompting Hiddink's decision to bring John Obi Mikel back into the mix.

With reports suggesting Roma would demand £28 million for Nainggolan, the situation is complicated by I Giallorossi sporting director Walter Sabatini's plans to step down in the summer. A decision to sell the Belgian international likely won't take place until Sabatini's successor is named.

While Conte admits that he will step down from the Italian post after the tournament, the former Juve gaffer remains coy about a highly speculated position at Chelsea.

"For me it's not a taboo subject, I can also speak about Italian clubs too. I will consider the choices on offer whether in Italy or abroad. The only thing I can confirm is that I'm not going to go to another national team, as I miss club management."

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