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Antonio Conte’s first year at Chelsea could soon turn into glory, but the manager will have to make sure that he can keep the core of the squad at the club to plan for the future. Spanish striker Diego Costa has been extensively linked with a move to China and Chelsea have also been hit with interest from Real Madrid for their superstar Eden Hazard. The Belgian international is among the most effective players in his position in Europe and Zinedine Zidane is convinced that he is the next star that belongs at the Spanish Capital. It will be a huge loss for Conte’s side but it might bring some financial windfall which can be used in the transfer window. So here are 3-star replacements for the playmaker who Chelsea can look at if Hazard leaves in the summer.
Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid):
Eden’s national teammate Yannick Carrasco could be a superb replacement for him at Stamford Bridge. Currently playing under Diego Simeone at Vicente Calderon, Carrasco is an important player of the squad at the club but he has been linked with an exit recently and Conte could benefit from having him in his squad. Atletico have set a huge price for the player but with Carrasco yet to pen a new deal, Chelsea have every chance of luring him to London. At just 23, he is a wonderful option who could succeed at Chelsea for the years to come.
Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina):
Another option for Antonio Conte who is already on his radar is his national compatriot Bernardeschi. Like Carrasco, Bernardeschi is also 23 years of age and the exciting midfielder could be available for just £38m in the summer and Chelsea are fighting for his signature with Arsenal and other clubs. If they lose Hazard, Conte might go all in for the Italian as he is as exciting as any young winger who is talented. With 13 goals and 5 assists in 33 games in all competitions this season, he is in top form and having already worked under Conte, he should not take too long to get used to his methods. Surely, the 23-year old is an option to replace Hazard at Chelsea.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal):
This might be near to impossible, but Chelsea should go for the Chilean who seems to be unhappy at Emirates. The possibilities are less, but why not? Losing Hazard will be a huge blow for the Blues and very few players can completely fill the hole. Alexis Sanchez will probably make that hole disappear, Currently in the form of his life, Sanchez is the major factor that has kept the Gunners close to the top even after a string of mediocre results. However, he is yet to pen a new contract and could be up for sale for just £40m in the summer. Though Wenger might not sell his asset to local rivals, it could be up to Conte to convince the winger who might just join a long list of players that swapped the clubs.