Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is non-committal on the subject of squad reinforcements.

The line appeared to be this: no panic buys because the squad I have is good enough to do whatever I want with it. But if the right names come up, then deals will be done.

If the line sounds familiar, that is because it is: a remarkably similar company line to the one parroted by the last six or so Chelsea managers at transfer windows past.

There are sound business reasons for the opaque nature of the statement: never let slip you are desperate to buy unless you really fancy burning millions on the beach, KLF-style.

There are obvious places where changes look likely in this squad, and the most talked-about one of all is central midfield.

The absence of Cesc Fabregas for the opening game was a bold statement by Conte – keen though he was to make it known there was no issue here.

sidelined; Cesc Fabregas

Yet already, Chelsea are looking like a team with a system that doesn't quite suit Fabregas.

Fast moving and energetic are the traits Conte seems to like – not things usually associated with the ex-Arsenal and Barcelona man.

The word is Chelsea are open to offers for the Spaniard – though any sale would depend on the right price, probably in the £20m to £30m bracket.

However, that would immediately reduce the pool of potential buyers.

Neither Chelsea nor the player is keen on a move elsewhere in the Premier League, and in his native Spain potential targets would be either Barca, or their sworn enemies from the capital.

Italy holds greater potential, and his play may be better matched to the slower, more considered style of Serie A.

Food for thought: Antonio Conte

With Chelsea's existing central midfield options including N'Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Mikel John Obi and Oscar – the understanding is that if Blues are still looking for a marquee signing, it is unlikely to turn-up in midfield.

Indeed, any departure for Fabregas may equal better news for fans of Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Nathaniel Chalobah: either or both had been expected to go out on loan.

Defence remains a key area where Chelsea need to invest, as well.

The squad there looks thin, both at centre half and fullback, and the prolonged chatter about Kalidou Koulibaly seems to have legs.

The only problem here is Napoli's price: £60m quoted by most sources.

In a market where John Stones is valued at £50m, it's clear Koulibaly is worth 20% more – but Chelsea are less than keen on splashing out on a defender.

Video thumbnail, Romelu Lukaku Transfer Profile
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As is often the case, what it may come down to is whether Roman Abramovich wants to go for it come deadline day.

A new goalkeeper, meanwhile, looks a certainty.

After a season in which Asmir Begovic got far less football than he had hoped, there seems to be a gentleman's agreement that he can move on.

But, with Jamal Blackman having departed on loan to Wycombe Wanderers, that is unlikely to happen until a new recruit arrives.

AC Milan's Diego Lopez is a possibility at 34, and already used to sitting on the bench, he fits the shape of an identikit back-up keeper.

Finally, the area where the biggest money moves are being mooted: up-front.

With Michy Batshuayi brought in as back-up, the question is who will be Blues first choice striker this season?

Romelu Lukaku, hideously over-priced at £75m, has always been seen as a potential replacement for, not an addition to, Diego Costa - and the smart money is now on Costa staying put.

It seems Chelsea may have to find the goals to reclaim their top four standing from the existing group of players at Conte's disposal.

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