Chelsea plan to give Antonio Conte even more money to spend in January now that he has turned them into title contenders.

Standard Sport revealed last month the coach had been promised funds for the new year but Chelsea are prepared to extend the budget to improve the squad so that they can win the Premier League this season.

The mood at Stamford Bridge has changed significantly since successive defeats by Liverpool and Arsenal in September.

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Two months ago, the club thought a top‑four place was their best hope as they dropped eight points off top spot. However, five League wins in a row have left Chelsea only one point behind leaders Liverpool.

Conte is delighted his players have adapted so quickly to the 3-4-3 formation but is concerned about a lack of strength in depth.

He will press ahead with plans to buy a centre-half but is now looking to add another full-back, a central midfielder and an attacking player.

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His No1 target for the backline remains Leonardo Bonucci, although Juventus are in talks over a new contract for the 29-year-old they value in excess of £50million and the player himself has so far distance himself from a move away from Turin.Chelsea are also considering another attempt to sign Alessio Romagnoli and Antonio Rudiger from AC Milan and Roma respectively. Milan rejected Chelsea’s £35m offer for the 21‑year-old in the summer, while a move for Rudiger fell through after the German suffered a serious knee injury.

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The latter is playing again for Roma, although Manchester United are also interested in him.

Chelsea have also been looking at promising English talent in Burnley’s Michael Keane and Ben Gibson at Middlesbrough.

Further forward, Conte is an admirer of Inter Milan’s Geoffrey Kondogbia as well as Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi.