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Giulianelli: Conte adds Paredes to Chelsea shopping list; Ranieri has us loving football again

Antonio Conte is fast filling his notebook with the names he wants for his new Chelsea.

And some of them are linked with AS Roma, the team fighting hard to reach second place in Serie A: which would mean direct qualification to the next Champions League.

If Radja Nainggolan was already known as a target for the Blues midfield, the name of Leandro Paredes could be labeled as a real surprise on this shopping list.

Born in 1994, Paredes is spending the current season on loan at Empoli, after having been bought by Roma in January 2014 from Boca Juniors. He spent the second part of the 2013-14 season on loan at Chievo, in Serie A, where he collected only one appearance, losing 1-0 against Torino. In 2014-15 he came back to Roma where he played 10 Serie A matches, scoring one goal against Cagliari.

He is a talented midfielder, with the skills to play as a man behind the forwards: he has recently declared he takes inspiration from Juan Roman Riquelme. Actually, he is having a good season at Empoli and his performances have attracted the attentions even of Liverpool; after the Olympic Games he will come back to Roma and then his future will be decided.

For now, he says he wants to remain with the Italian club, but if the wooing of Conte became persistent and the offer was big enough, Roma could decide to deprive the team of this talented player in order to keep with them Radja Nainggolan.


If Conte is sure to be on Chelsea's bench in the next season, another Italian head coach is working hard to obtain confirmation in the Premier League:

Francesco Guidolin is doing a good job to keep his Swansea City safe after a very tough season. After a difficult period in February, when the team gained only two points in four matches, the results have improved (if we overlook the last 3-0 defeat at Newcastle) with the cherry on top the victory against the next team of the current Italian national team coach.


Let's go, dulcis in fundo, to the third Italian manager in the Premier League: third in this column, first on the list. Of course, I'm speaking of Claudio Ranieri, the real wonder of not only the current English season but, surely, of the entire European campaign.

His tears after the last victory at Sunderland have shown a man full of feelings, a man who loves football in its purest essence; Ranieri seems to have nothing to do with the football of business and numbers, which seems to have lost its values and feelings.

The most beautiful aspect of what's happening with Leicester is exactly that they are making us dream again, they are reconciling many of us with football, with the sport we have fallen in love with and that we were risking falling out of love with.

So long as there is, in any part of the world, a Leicester, a Claudio Ranieri or a James Vardy, we will still be loving football. Don't worry...

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