Football

Sutton: Blues need four or five quality signings

Chelsea are on course for a league and FA Cup Double, but the million-dollar question is: Will Antonio Conte be at Stamford Bridge next season?

And, if he stays, can the 47-year-old bring sustained success to the Blues?

Former Chelsea players believe Conte is likely to stay, depending on whether he gets the backing from owner Roman Abramovich to sign the players he needs for the title defence and assault on Champions League.

Former Chelsea player and manager Ruud Gullit told the BBC: "From a football point of view, of course he will stay.

"His next challenge is to win the Champions League and he can do that with Chelsea.

"It is different if it is a decision about his family. His personal life is important as well.

"And, if his family want to be in Italy, then it is an easy choice for him to make."

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton, said the club need "four or five quality signings" .

"The only way I see Conte leaving is if he does not get the players he wants this summer," Sutton told the BBC.

We have to improve... to find the right solution to improve. Antonio Conte

"He is fortunate he has got a lot of intelligent footballers who can play in numerous positions but, next season, he will need more strength in depth and that means four or five really quality signings.

"Wingbacks would be one of the areas where Conte will need more cover and, whether (Diego) Costa stays or goes, there is a lot of talk about Everton striker Romelu Lukaku coming back to the club."

Pat Nevin, who played more than 250 games for Chelsea from 1983 to 1988, feels that the current Blues squad are not deep enough to challenge for the Champions League.

"Conte has over-achieved domestically this season but, even so, the Champions League is a big jump - look at the lack of success by English teams in recent years," Nevin told the BBC.

"But that is predicated by one very important thing - who is he going to get in?

"With the current group, he cannot do next year what he has done this season. There is just not enough numbers there." 
- WIRE SERVICES

CHELSEA (EPL)eplChampions League