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Conte plans defensive clear-out at Chelsea

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte (right) on the touchline during his side's Premier League match against Liverpool on September 16, 2016
Chelsea coach Antonio Conte (right) on the touchline during his side’s Premier League match against Liverpool on September 16, 2016

LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 26- Antonio Conte is ready to launch a ruthless defensive clear-out following his side’s calamitous 3-0 defeat by Arsenal on Saturday.

Branislav Ivanovic and central defender Gary Cahill, at fault for Arsenal’s first goal, are expected to be phased out as the Chelsea boss looks to bolster his back four, who have conceded 12 goals in just four games.

The pending returns of skipper John Terry and fellow centre back Kurt Zouma from injury will provide more options for Conte in the coming weeks.

But with 35-year-old Terry’s career drawing to a close, Conte has his eye on signing a new full back and two centre backs, which could also cast doubts over David Luiz’s position as a first-choice central defender.

Conte failed to land his top defensive targets in the summer – Leonardo Bonucci, of Juventus, and Kalidou Koulibaly, of Napoli. He eventually added left back Marcos Alonso and Luiz, who returned to the club from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Conte still believes he needs to increase his options at the back in the next two transfer windows.

Sportsmail highlighted earlier this month how the club had begun a scouting drive to identify the best emerging home-grown central defensive talent.

Burnley’s Michael Keane and Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson are two that have been watched extensively by Blues scouts.

-By Daily Mail-

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