Chelsea have no intention of allowing Antonio Conte to leave Stamford Bridge — and will back him with a £250million spending spree to prove it.
Manager Conte has clashed with Marina Granovskaia, owner Roman Abramovich’s chief negotiator, as he bids to increase his power-base at the champions after his debut-season title triumph.
Media in his native Italy also suggest he is unhappy about Granovskaia’s unwillingness to meet the high price-tags placed on some of his summer transfer targets.
But Chelsea are set to press ahead with plans to target £50million defender Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus - even though he turned 30 last month.
They are also in advanced negotiations to land £40m midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.
The Blues are already expected to confirm the arrival of £75million striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton, have another Juve player, left-back Alex Sandro, in their sights — and are prepared to buy more players on top of that quartet.