Huge: Abramovich to bankroll record Chelsea transfer for Conte

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Chelsea will submit a £60m bid for Juventus ace Leonardo Bonucci in January in a move that would make the Italian the most expensive defender in history.

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The 29-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this summer but the Italian was settled and happy in Turin.

Conte was desperate to sign the centre-back and held out onto the final days of the transfer window before giving up and sanctioning a move for back-up target David Luiz.

However, Luiz’s arrival hasn’t cured Chelsea’s defensive problems and Conte remains keen to sign a Bonucci – who perfectly understands the three-man defence system that Conte wishes to play in west London.

According to the Telegraph, Chelsea’s Russian owner met with Conte earlier this week to discuss where the squad needed improving and agreed to sanction a world record move for Bonucci.

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Luiz’s £50m move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 remains the highest fee paid for a defender but any potential move for Bonucci would eclipse that.

Defence has been the biggest problem of Conte’s opening two months at Chelsea, with the Blues shipping nine goals in seven league games this term.

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