Chelsea have intensified their pursuit of AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko after a move for Andy Carroll collapsed due to the striker being ruled out for at least a month with an ankle injury.
The West Ham United striker was Antonio Conte’s primary target to provide backup to the Blues’ main striker Alvaro Morata, but his latest setback will see Chelsea switch to other targets.
According to BBC Sport, the England international is facing a minimum of one month out with his latest injury, which will come as a big blow as Carroll was said to be keen to join the reigning Premier League champions.
The Blues have now turned their attention towards Dzeko, who has impressed with the Serie A club since joining them from Manchester City in 2015. He has scored 12 goals in all competitions this season including a brace against Chelsea in the Champions League group stages.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea want to complete a €50m (£44m) double deal for Roma duo Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri, who plays at left-back for the Serie A club. The Italian capital club, however, are said to want a further €15m to sanction the deal.
Apart from a striker, Conte has also been keen to sign a left-back to provide competition for current incumbent Marcos Alonso, and has been linked with a move for Juventus’ Alex Sandro. But the Serie A champions’ hefty demands have seen them switch their attention to Palmieri.
The Brazilian defender’s agent confirmed that they are in talks with the Premier League giants over a move, but admitted that nothing is certain at the moment. He also revealed that it would be a dream come true for Palmieri to play under Conte.
The Italian coach is desperate to strengthen his squad during the ongoing winter transfer window and a striker has been top of the priority list. It looked like Carroll would be heading to Stamford Bridge, but his latest injury has ruined his chance of securing a move.
Chelsea are hopeful of convincing Roma to sanction the double deal and the Sky Sports report claims that they are willing to throw in want away forward Michy Batshuayi on loan to provide the Italian club with a readymade replacement for the Bosnian.
The Belgian striker is keen to leave the west London club in January and has been linked with a number of clubs. Sevilla are keen to take him on loan, while he has also been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund as replacement for seemingly-Arsenal bound Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Meanwhile, according to the Mirror, Stoke City forward Peter Crouch has also emerged as a shock target for the Blues following Carroll’s injury, but it remains to be seen if Conte will sanction a move for a striker, who has scored just three goals in 18 Premier League appearances this season.