Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is preparing to drop defensive duo Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic after the duo put in sub-standard performances in the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend, The Daily Mail reports.

The Blues had a flying start to life under Conte but the last fortnight has seen them pick up a solitary point from their last three games.

The West London side had a chance to lay down a statement of intent against their cross-town rivals on Saturday but goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil gave the Gunners a commanding victory.

The latest report suggests that Cahill and Ivanovic will pay the price for the defensive lapses at the Emirates Stadium and will be phased out ahead of the team’s next game against Hull City this weekend.

Marcos Alonso looks ready to come into the team and take the Serbian veteran’s place, with Cesar Azpilicueta moving to his natural right-back posiiton.

Meanwhile the impending return of John Terry could well see Cahill removed from the firing line, while Kurt Zouma is also closing in on fitness once more.

The report concludes by stating that Burnley’s Michael Keane and Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson are being eyed as possible future recruits.


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