Chelsea eye defensive duo to replace Zouma and striker set to depart

Chelsea have identified Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci and Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk as possible defensive recruitments, according to the latest report from London Evening Standard.

The report claims that any defensive arrival will possibly lead to the departure of centre-back Kurt Zouma on a loan deal. The French centre-back missed most of the last season with a cruciate injury and now manager Antonio Conte wants him to gain first-team experience elsewhere.

French sides Lyon and Nice have already expressed interest in the 22-year-old, but Conte is not likely to let him leave until the West London club have brought a replacement.

Danish centre-back Andreas Christensen is also expected to return to the club following his two-year loan stint with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.

“I will join up with Chelsea on July 7th. I haven’t talked to Conte yet,” said Christensen earlier this month.

“The sports director says the plan is that I meet like all the others and go through the preseason.”

Meanwhile, young striker Tammy Abraham is expected to join Swansea City on a loan deal, according to a report from the Daily Mirror.

The Welsh side have reportedly beaten competition from newly promoted Newcastle to sign the 19-year-old, who impressed with Bristol City in Championship last season.

Abraham scored 23 goals in 41 league appearances during his loan stint with the Robins.

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