Chelsea eyeing De Sciglio for Fabregas deal

According to reports from CalcioMercatoWeb, Chelsea are interested in a swap deal with AC Milan, which would involve Cesc Fabregas and Mattia De Sciglio.

What’s the word?

Google Translate can only get us so far, but CalcioMeractoWeb appear to be suggesting that AC Milan are targeting Fabregas, whom they reportedly made enquiries for during the summer transfer window. Although the Blues are happy to keep him until the end of the season, they’d be open to a January swap deal involving De Sciglio – plus an extra £8.7million to sweeten the deal.

The story bears distinct similarities to a report from (not to be confused with CMW) last month, claiming Rossoneri were open to trading star striker Carlos Bacca for the out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder. Admittedly, De Sciglio is a bit of a step down, considering Bacca has scored 26 goals in 50 appearances for Milan, but there are reasons Chelsea would be interested in the defender instead.

De Sciglio over Bacca?

Consistent strikers are worth their weight in gold and Bacca certainly belongs in that camp, having scored frequently in Colombia, Belgium and Spain’s La Liga before moving to the San Siro in summer 2015. But whilst the hitman is already 30 years of age, De Sciglio is seven years his junior and plays in a position of greater concern to Chelsea at this moment in time: full-back.

Jun 25, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Colombia forward Carlos Bacca (7) controls the ball against the United States during the third place match of the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images *** Local Caption *** 2016-06-26T023727Z_1540991888_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-2016-COPA-AMERICA-CENTENARIO-COLOMBIA-AT-USA.JPG

Indeed, Chelsea have relied upon the same two first-choice full-backs – Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta – for the last three seasons but rather tellingly, neither started in their habitual positions against Hull City last weekend, with the Spaniard moved to centre-half and the Serbian dropped from the starting XI completely. The latter’s Chelsea career could well come to an end in the summer, when his contract expires.

That’s where De Sciglio comes in; he can play on either side of the defence, although predominantly the left, and featured in the wing-back role under Antonio Conte for Italy at EURO 2016. The Chelsea gaffer utilised Victor Moses and summer signing Marcos Alonso as wing-backs against Hull on Saturday, the switch to a 3-4-3 formation inspiring a 2-0 win at the KCOM Stadium.

How good is De Sciglio?

De Sciglio was once raved about as a future Italian great and clearly has a fan in Conte, who started him in Italy’s last three matches at EURO 2016. He’s already got 27 Azzurri caps at just 23-years-of-age and has been a relative mainstay in Milan’s defence for the last four seasons, but he’s probably not progressed to the levels expected when making his debut as a teenager. Here’s a look at how his efforts this term compare to Chelsea’s current full-back options, courtesy of Squawka:


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