Chelsea target Serie A wide-man to boost options on left flank

As reported by the Daily Mirror, Antonio Conte is said to be targeting Genoa wide midfielder Diego Laxalt this January.

What’s the word?

His team may be flying high at the top of the Premier League table, but that isn’t stopping Antonio Conte from identifying targets across the continent he wants to bring to Stamford Bridge.

The Mirror reckon one such target is Diego Laxalt, Genoa’s midfield star, and the Uruguayan could be arriving in London this January.

Laxalt’s agent, Vincenzo D’Ippolito, said (quoted by the Mirror): “Genoa believe in him, but they are always open to selling their players for the right offer. Conte had been scouting Laxalt when he was in Italy and he’d love to take Laxalt to Chelsea now.”

That certainly sounds promising in terms of a deal being done and this is one to watch with interest.

Football Soccer - Genoa v AC Milan - Luigi Ferraris stadium, Genoa, Italy - 25/10/16. AC Milan's Keisuke Honda in action against Diego Laxalt of Genoa. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Who is he?

Laxalt has been plying his trade in Serie A since 2013 but it’s only been at Genoa where he’s truly found his feet. Unable to make the breakthrough at Inter Milan initially, he had loan spells at Bologna and Empoli before a similar temporary deal at Genoa turned into a permanent transfer.

He’d fit in perfectly to Conte’s 3-4-3 system, having the defensive qualities to safeguard against attacks but also possessing the technical ability to get himself forward in support of Chelsea’s star attacking force.

At just 23 he has plenty of potential and he won his first international cap this year.

It would be a big step-up if he did move to Stamford Bridge but Blues fans would undoubtedly give Conte the benefit of the doubt given the manager’s impact so far.