Chelsea could sign Gordon (right) as Courtois (top left) and Begovic near their exits
Chelsea's sudden interest in Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon is certainly one of the strangest stories of the transfer window.
Few of us were expecting Chelsea to attempt to make a major signing from the Scottish Premiership – and certainly not in the goalkeeping department.
But the simmering instability among Chelsea's goalkeepers appears to have forced Conte to act.
And act he will, if pushed.
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Chelsea may have the best defensive record in the Premier League but that does not mean they aren't susceptible to goalkeeper departures in the summer.
Real Madrid are determined to land Thibaut Courtois and, after failing to sign the Belgian last summer, talks are underway regarding a bid at the end of this season.
And Asmir Begovic appears to have run out of chances at Chelsea under Conte.
Begovic was linked with a move away from the Blues last year and this summer the former Stoke No1 will almost certainly move, if he doesn't go this month. What a waste of time that was.
Craig Gordon (left) has rejuvenated his career at Celtic
Gordon has helped Brendan Rodgers' (left) Celtic side go 22 points clear in the Scottish Premiership
So what is the reason behind the Gordon bid? Is it to fill in as first choice and protect the team if Courtois leaves? Or is it a message to Begovic that a replacement can be easily found if they threaten to quit the club?
Maybe it's both. Chelsea would of course like to keep Courtois forever but seem realistic about those chances. He played for three seasons at Atletico Madrid and has strong attachments to Spain, so you can't really begrudge him wanting a transfer.
And in moving for Gordon, Chelsea have effectively told Begovic he won't be No 1 even if Courtois does leave.
Conte may be playing games here. Gordon is a very good goalkeeper and when he moved to Sunderland for what was a big-money £9million deal back in 2007 many thought it was a good price.
Gordon conceded nine goals during Celtic's Champions League campaign this season
Gordon helped Celtic win the Scottish League Cup this season
Gordon (right) secured a high-profile move to Sunderland in 2007 but injuries curtailed his career
Injuries ruined his progression but he has rebuilt his career at Celtic.
Would he be No 1 at Chelsea? Maybe, but not if Courtois stays. Would he accept being back-up at Chelsea? Probably not. Begovic has fast become the new Carlo Cudicini at Stamford Bridge and Gordon won't want to fall into that trap.
Conte appears to have effectively bid for a player who he knows he cannot get, but who is good enough to make the offer seem legitimate. It feels like a taster bid. Not to understand Celtic's stance – they won't sell unless the price is ridiculous – but to gauge the reaction of Chelsea's two current goalkeepers.
Gordon certainly cannot move to west London without one of Courtois or Begovic leaving. Otherwise Conte is just exacerbating the situation by adding another layer of competition that cannot compete with the former.