Antonio Conte clearly has a thing for a 30-something targetman.
The blue-eyed benchman was desperate to sign Fernando Llorente for Chelsea in 2017, according to The Telegraph, before turning his attention to Olivier Giroud a few months later.
Now, with his Inter Milan team already emerging as potential usurpers to the Juventus kingdom, Italian football’s greatest general wants a battlescarred foot-soldier to bring glory back to the San Siro.
According to Il Giornale, Conte is hoping to tie up a January deal for Russia talisman and Zenit St Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba. The 31-year-old has spent his entire professional career in his homeland but, as anyone who watched him put Scotland to the sword over the international break will tell you, this is a man who deserves a chance to prove himself at the very top of the game before it’s too late.
A giant at 6ft 5ins, he’s far more cultured and classy than you’d think – but when the ball is loose in the box he turns into a monster. A monster that, in a game dominated by pretty little forwards, still has plenty of admirers.
Everton are still keen, according to Rianfan, despite Dzyuba himself claiming that he turned down a move to Goodison Park in January of this year.
“Last winter, I could have gone, as I understand it, to Everton," the veteran striker, who has since joined forces with super-agent Jorge Mendes, told Sport 24. “But I didn’t want to because in the winter it would be wrong (to leave).”
Everton, at the time, were in the midst of a crisis with the future of head coach Marco Silva very much uncertain. You can see why Dzyuba wouldn’t be too keen to jump into that particular fire.
Inter, however, are a club only going in one direction under Conte with a first Serie A title in a decade looking like a genuine possibility. Patience is a virtue and, if Dzyuba does get a move to the San Siro, he won’t be looking back on his Everton snub with any regret.
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