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Chelsea’s search for a striker continues after abandoning their interest in Andy Carroll, with Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, Roma’s Edin Dzeko and Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke all being considered.
Blues boss Antonio Conte is looking for back-up to Alvaro Morata, having apparently lost faith with current reserve option Michy Batshuayi – who could be shipped out, either on loan or permanently this month if he gets someone in.
Eyebrows had initially been raised when stories appeared about Chelsea’s interest in West Ham striker Andy Carroll. An approach had been made, and it was thought a deal could be in the offing, until the striker suffered an ankle injury, which will put him out for more than a month.
It is evident that Conte is looking for a big target man – Crouch, Dzeko and Benteke are all well over 6 foot tall.
While no official approach has been made to Stoke for Crouch – who turns 37 next month – it is thought Chelsea would be looking for a loan deal until the end of the season. Perhaps with tongue in cheek, Crouch himself has said he is happy in the Potteries.
A deal involving former Manchester City striker Dzeko, 31, could be more likely. It is rumoured that Chelsea are preparing a double raid on the Italian side, with a combined £77 million offer for Dezeko and left-back Emerson Palmieri. This would also make sense as Conte has said he is in the market for a left-back as cover for Marcos Alonso. Batshuayi could also be a makeweight in that deal.
Finally, the Daily Mail reported that Chelsea were mulling over a move for Benteke. While the striker has been out-of-form for Palace this season, it isn’t that long that Liverpool paid £32.5 million for him. Should he recapture his best form he could be a threat.
With Conte seemingly desperate to bring in another striker it makes his decision to sell Dominic Solanke to Liverpool and send Tammy Abraham out to Swansea on a season-long loan – with no clause to bring him back if needed – seem all the stranger.