Chelsea target two Premier League defenders in surprise transfer move as Ivanovic and Cahill look set for the axe

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is ready to swing the axe following his side’s woeful display during their 3-0 defeat at Arsenal and his back-line looks set for a re-shuffle.

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The Daily Mail claim Conte will ‘phase out’ Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic and has his sights set on two slightly surprising Premier League targets.

Chelsea have set their sights on Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson and Burnley youngster Michael Keane, both of whom have been extensively scouted by the West London side.

Conte is apparently concerned at the back-up he has in place with veteran John Terry clearly on his last legs and Kurt Zouma being sidelined.

Ola Aina is considered a hot prospect but lacks first experience.

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23-year-old Middlesbrough talent Gibson has impressed on the north-east side’s return to the top tier and Keane, a former Man United youth team star, has also done well for the Clarets this term.

Clearly interest in the two is down primarily due to them both being considered as ‘home-grown’ and as such help Chelsea to reach the alloted Premier League complement.

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After the defeat at the Emirates Conte was very honest in his assessment of the game, stating;

‘Was I angry at half-time? Yes, but I prefer to keep my words, because it’s right when I talk with my players, to keep what I tell them,’ Conte said.

‘This is normal. Sure I was angry, but my players were also angry. Because we weren’t satisfied with our game, with our performance. I don’t sleep, sure. I don’t sleep. This is normal. 

‘After this game, this defeat, it’s normal for me not to sleep. I reflect. And it’s important to reflect.’ 

Chelsea started the season brightly with three successive wins but have since gone on to draw away at Watford before suffering a home defeat to Liverpool and then that thumping loss at Arsenal.

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