The proposed swap deal for one of Antonio Conte’s targets would be a record-breaking one, but is it really feasible, likely or even realistic?
Speculation suggests Eden Hazard could be used as a makeweight in a deal for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, though when you put the rumour under scrutiny it appears to fall short.
In fact, the Belgium international has become the second player in a week to be linked with a swap deal, following Cesc Fabregas being linked with a move to Turin in exchange for the 29-year-old centre-back.
Bonucci is undoubtedly rated among the world’s best in his position and Conte is an admirer after working with him at Juventus and with Italy, but the £50 million plus Hazard deal would short-change Chelsea financially.
Conte will be frustrated by recent defensive issues at Stamford Bridge and despite signing David Luiz and Marcos Alonso on deadline day, the club failed to secure their prime targets of Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli in the summer.
However, Hazard is valued by the CIES Football Observatory at £60 million which is precisely twice as much as they valued Leonardo Bonucci, with the ages of the players and the positions they play in on the pitch hugely affecting their estimated worth.
Swap deals represent a tiny proportion of transfer deals done between clubs as they are seen as hugely complex and can leave a club feeling open to criticism should their end of the deal not work out.
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City’s failures to convince Bonucci to join in the summer, meanwhile, show the magnitude of any club’s task to sign him, with Juventus desperate to win the Champions League and with an unwillingness to sell anyone who can help them to do it.
Bonucci has been offered a new deal to stay in Turin while his two-year-old son, Matteo, is another reason to stay as he attempts to recover from the life threatening illnesses he suffered this summer.