Chelsea: Antonio Conte ‘Swoops’ For Rival Arsenal’s Star Player, Eyeing New Role

Chelsea is preparing to launch a £25 million (about $33 million) move for Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to reports.

Antonio Conte wants his slim squad to be bolstered before the transfer window closes on August 31, having lost a string of first-team figures since he arrived last season.

Chelsea will look to ease the Italian coach’s concerns by bidding for Oxlade-Chamberlain who has just one year remaining on his contract at the Emirates Stadium, according to the Daily Mail.

Arsenal, the report says, has rejected any initial interest from its London rival, but now Chelsea plans to increase its pursuit and launch a formal bid.

Conte sees Oxlade-Chamberlain as having the potential to operate from the wing-back position, a key part of the system he brought in at Stamford Bridge last season.

The 23-year-old has been a versatile figure in Arsene Wenger’s squad, being deployed in various positions across the midfield.

Related: Chelsea Prepares Bid For Rival’s Star, Man United Misses Out On Top Target

Antonio Conte Chelsea manager Antonio Conte at Chelsea Training Ground, London, August 4. Jordan Mansfield/Getty

But Conte believes he can do with Oxlade-Chamberlain what he did with Victor Moses last season. The Nigerian appeared to have been a flop since moving to Chelsea from Wigan Athletic in 2012.

Moses was sent out on loan for three consecutive seasons and looked to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge, until Conte arrived from Italy.

The new manager recognized that Moses would be capable of playing in his 3-4-3 system as a wing-back on the right hand side, with the 26-year-old featuring in 34 of the 38 Premier League games last season.

Chelsea, meanwhile, has also been linked with a move for Tottenham left-back Danny Rose and Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva.

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