Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was left extremely frustrated when the Blues signed Antonio Rudiger instead of Leonardo Bonucci in the summer, according to the Times.
Bonucci had worked with Conte at Juventus, and was available for transfer after falling out with Bianconeri boss Max Allegri. The Italian eventually signed for AC Milan in a €40m (£37.8m).
The Blues instead made a move for Roma centre half Rudiger, who was cheaper at £31.5m, and six years younger than Bonucci.
The Times journalist Matt Hughes reports that Conte was left deeply unimpressed by the decision, and that he has been at odds with the Chelsea board ever since.
The club’s long pursuit of Juventus’s Alex Sandro also demonstrates a similar problem. It has been widely circulated since the summer that Conte wanted the Brazilian to be the club’s top priority target. Instead, the club waited until the January transfer window to sign a new left back, securing a £18m deal for Roma’s Emerson Palmieri.