Chelsea’s search for the next Ashley Cole continues as Alex Sandro Snubs Move

Premier League holders Chelsea have decided to extend their search for a new left-sided defender with Juventus’ Alex Sandro likely to stay put at Juventus for the upcoming campaign.

The Brazil international had been earmarked as the perfect option to fill the left wing-back role although Marcos Alonso impressed in the position last season.

The west London giants have longed to find a regular to occupy the left side of the defence, and they have spent as much as £122m since Ashley Cole left back in the summer of 2014. Cole played a fundamental role in the Blues’ success between 2006 and 2014 including their triumphs in the Champions League and Europa League.

He is currently enjoying the latter stages of his career at LA Galaxy following an unsuccessful spell at AS Roma, and Conte is yearning for a player of the Englishman’s calibre at Stamford Bridge. Spain international Cesar Azpilicueta occupied the position with ease during Jose Mourinho’s reign in west London, but Conte sees the defender in the central defensive role which he adapted well alongside Gary Cahill and David Luiz last season.

Meanwhile, Azpilicueta could also be pushed into the right wing-back position with Chelsea deemed to have finalised a summer deal to recruit Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma. The German international has been on the Blues’ radar over the past year or so, and the deal is likely to go through with Chelsea having agreed on a £33.4m sum for his services.

Cole remained a mainstay during his eight-year spell at Stamford Bridge lifting the Premier League on one occasion, and the Blues have not quite replaced him from the ranks, though Alonso made the left wing-back position his own last term. Alonso had his doubters following his move from Fiorentina last summer, but he managed to silencehis critics with six goals in Chelsea’s league triumph.