Conte's Chelsea looking for third win on the trot

LONDON • Antonio Conte appears destined for a busy end to the transfer window despite Chelsea's impressive start to the Premier League campaign.

The Italian's side face Burnley at Stamford Bridge today aiming to record a third successive league win following 2-1 victories over Watford and West Ham.

Those performances have provided grounds for optimism after last season's disastrous campaign. But he would still like at least two more new signings before the transfer window closes next week.

Despite the promising early form of Diego Costa and pre-season signing Michy Batshuayi, another striker remains high on the Italian's wishlist.

Yet it appears a more pressing priority is to bring in defensive reinforcements after AC Milan rejected the Blues' £30 million (S$53.53 million) bid for Alessio Romagnoli. With Napoli having priced Kalidou Koulibaly out of the market, Conte's search for a defender continues.

The manager admitted his frustration at Chelsea's limited success in the transfer market, but he does not want the club to pay inflated prices.

That has thrown fresh focus on the players Conte already has at his disposal and there are signs winger Victor Moses will finally be given the chance to establish himself after a succession of loan moves.

The performances of Ola Aina and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the midweek 3-2 League Cup win over Bristol Rovers provided a reminder of the youngsters pressing for a chance in the senior set-up.

Burnley were beaten 1-0 by fourth-tier Accrington in the League Cup on Wednesday. But manager Sean Dyche insists that loss will not dent his side's confidence as they look for a first league success at Stamford Bridge since 1991.

He said: "It is the beauty of football. That's why we all love it, when you can go away to these places with a bit of freedom, take on the game and see what comes your way."

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CHELSEA V BURNLEY

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'Conte's Chelsea looking for third win on the trot'. Print Edition | Subscribe