Chelsea set to abandon their pursuit of a top striker in order to focus on signing defensive targets, latest reports revealed.
This could bring some good news for the Blues’ EPL rivals, as Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool all have been locked horn with Chelsea battling it out for the ongoing striker hunt. Be it Morata or James Rodriguez, or may be Icardi, Gabigol – the summer transfer window so far saw some exciting rumours flying around.
Antonio Conte’s side are expected to be among the busier clubs in the market ahead of the transfer window closing and had been thought to be pursuing a new attacker.
But after failed attempts to bring the likes of Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku to Stamford Bridge, Conte is now ready to give up on landing a new frontman.
The Italian boss is instead fully focused on bringing defensive recruits to the club, according to the Telegraph.
He is already without Kurt Zouma due to a long-standing knee injury and is keen to add to his back-line before deadline day on 31 August.
Alessio Romagnoli is their top centre-back target and they are locked in negotiations with AC Milan.
Should they fail to land the 21-year-old, Torino centre-half Nikola Maksimovic could be on his way.
Conte is also keen to bring a full-back in with Ricardo Rodriguez and Stephan Lichtsteiner both on his radar.
One thing’s for sure, Chelsea’s summer business is not done yet.
Conte’s predicament was accentuated on Tuesday [23 August] when 19-year-old debutant Ola Aina was taken off during the 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers in EFL the action at Stamford Bridge.
The blow leaves the club short of options heading into the fulcrum of the campaign which will stretch the 47-year-old’s squad to its limit.
“I hope the injury to Aina is not serious because if it is we will only have four defenders for Burnley. I’m a bit worried,” Conte told Sky Sports. “The situation with the market, I’d rather speak with the club about transfers and we stay in contact every day. We are trying to find the right solution to improve this team. It’s right to pay the player in the right way.”