CHELSEA have been handed a major boost in their chase for Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva, according to reports.
Antonio Conte has held a long interest in the Italy international and was first linked with him last summer.
Inter do not want to sell the 30-year-old without a replacement – but have now identified Keita Balde as just the man, according to the Daily Mirrror.
However, Inter face stiff competition from Juventus for the Lazio flier, so Chelsea still have a way to go to seal a deal.
Candreva, who can play at wing-back on either flank, was a favourite of Conte’s while he was the Italy boss.
As SunSport revealed last month, Chelsea are willing to offer £23million for Candreva and offer him a big rise on his current £85,000-a-week salary.
The Blues failed in a bid for Conte in January, with Inter unwilling to sell mid-season.
The Italian, who has 47 caps for the Azzurri, was a key player for Inter last season – he played in all 38 matches, starting 36 of them.