New Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho undoubtedly has a highly-talented squad at his disposal, with quality seemingly spread across attack and defence in equal measure. With plenty of cover in defence and midfield, the Blues are well stocked in those areas. But up front, there is uncertainty over the effectiveness of the current strike force.
Fernando Torres and Demba Ba are the club’s current senior strikers, with Romelu Lukaku also set to return to Stamford Bridge from his successful loan at West Bromwich Albion, to boost the attacking numbers ahead of the new campaign. However, the Portuguese boss is keen to add a marquee frontman to that set of forwards before autumn arrives.
There’s been plenty of newspaper speculation about who that striker may be. First, Radamel Falcao was widely tipped to head to west London but he eventually opted for a
That rejection increased the possibility of a swoop for Uruguayan goal scorer Edinson Cavani – prolific in Serie A for last season’s runners-up Napoli, who coincidentally are now managed by former Blues interim boss Rafael Benitez. However, Duncan Castles of The Sunday Times reports that Chelsea have cooled their interest in Cavani due to a hefty price tag which exceeds £50m, instead switching their focus to Mario Gomez.
The Bayern Munich striker appears to be destined to become one of the first casualties of Pep Guardiola’s arrival as the new manager at the Champions League winners, with a whole host of European clubs – including Tottenham Hotspur and Napoli – ready to battle for the Germany international’s services.
However Chelsea could snatch him away, with the added bonus of working with Mourinho perhaps tempting Gomez, who has scored 25 times for his country, to turn down alternatives in favour of signing on at Stamford Bridge. If not, Zenit’s powerful Brazilian Hulk and Manchester City’s seemingly surplus-to-requirements striker Edin Dzeko remain viable alternatives, according to the Daily Telegraph.
But what could any potential transfer mean for Chelsea current crop of strikers? Torres appears most likely to be nudged out of the door, despite finding the net an impressive 23 times last season. The Daily Mail reports that the ex-Liverpool forward is set for showdown talks with Mourinho in an attempt to resolve his future – though, publicly at least, Torres is insistent of his wish to stay at Chelsea and has indicated his excitement at working under the new regime at the club.
But whether it’s Gomez or another striker, the Blues are almost certain to add some first-rate finishing power to their squad in time for a title challenge in the next campaign. There’s unlikely to be room at the club for everyone hoping to compete for the place at the pinnacle of Chelsea’s attack.
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