Chelsea’s major summer signing?

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte did a sensational job with the squad that he inherited in his first season with the club.

He managed to get the most out of the existing players as well as adding a couple of really hard running internationals like N’Golo Kante. And he does appear to like those types of highly athletic players.

Which is why Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez is possibly not the first player that you’d link with Chelsea this summer.

He’s a wonderful creative talent and a natural footballer. But he’s never been the hardest worker or the most physical specimen in terms of getting stuck in or covering every blade of grass.

But perhaps where it comes down to pure quality Antonio Conte is seduced by the idea of bringing the player to the club. Because reports over the weekend suggest that Chelsea are now favourites to land the midfielder who seems certain to leave Real Madrid this summer.

Chelsea have been employing a 3-4-3 system under Conte and it’s not straightforward to imagine where Rodriguez would fit into that system. Chelsea use wing backs in that midfield four and the other two players in the engine room have generally been quite tough tackling defensive midfielders.

So we have to do assume that Rodriguez would play in the front three. That could mean Chelsea are about to lose Eden Hazard. Obviously that would not be an ideal scenario. So perhaps Pedro is the most likely to lose his place in the starting lineup if Rodriguez comes. And a front line which included Hazard and Rodriguez would be absolutely sensational and leave the number nine licking his lips about the opportunities presented.