Conte eyes move for former Manchester United defender

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte (C) gestures during their International Champions Cup (ICC) football match against Liverpool at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on July 27, 2016.  Chelsea won 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / Mark Ralston

Chelsea are set to launch a pursuit for Manchester United academy graduate Michael Keane, as well as Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, according to the Daily Mail.

The report claims that the Blues are looking to improve the English presence in their first team, especially with skipper John Terry expected to quit soon.

Terry’s exit will leave Chelsea short of English players, as well as a young players to take his place, and are believed to be eyeing up the pair of Gibson and Keane to fill in that slot.

They had failed in their attempts to sign their main central-defensive targets during the summer transfer window, before completing a surprise move for David Luiz on deadline day. The Brazilian defender left Stamford Bridge two years ago, but made a shocking return on transfer deadline day.

The capture of Luiz notwithstanding, Chelsea are reportedly still keen on landing either of Gibson or Keane.

Luiz is 29, and is not seen as the long-term replacement for Terry, plus they need to sign more British players so as to comply with the Premier League’s homegrown player regulations.