Chelsea prepared to battle Man Utd for World Cup winner who has scored over 20 goals this season
Chelsea are likely to be in the market for another striker come the summer and fresh reports have claimed they are after a forward from Italy.
Frank Lampard’s side have only scored 31 goals this season at a rate of 0.93 goals per game. They have often underperformed their xG and underlying numbers this season.
While Christopher Nkunku is expected to boost their forward options next season, they could do with another out-and-out forward.
This season Kai Havertz is their top scorer with a mere seven league goals. A new centre-forward is therefore on the agenda and plenty of names have been mentioned so far.
The latest link has been with Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez. According to Football London, Mauricio Pochettino has given Chelsea the green light to go after the 25-year-old.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to depart, a player like Martinez would be an obvious upgrade. The Argentine forward has scored 23 goals across all competitions during this campaign.
The World Cup winner has also outshone Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku, who has spent the season with the Italian club.
In 229 games for Inter, Martinez has scored 97 goals which gives him a strike rate of 0.42 goals per game. He would certainly add more firepower to Chelsea’s squad.
His contract with the Italian club runs until the summer of 2026 and so they would be in a strong position to negotiate for his price.
Manchester United are also interested
While Pochettino might have given the green light to go for a deal, Chelsea aren’t the only club interested in signing a striker this summer.
Erik ten Hag’s side also see this position as a priority to strengthen this summer. Along with other targets, Martinez is also on their radar.
It was recently reported that the Argentine forward would be available in the summer for a fee of around £70million.
This news sparked interest from Man Utd as he would be a cheaper alternative to the likes of Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane who would each cost over £100million.
“Everyone is different, obviously, but for a striker the main thing is to score goals by any method, that is so far ahead of anything else,” Erik ten Hag told Sky Sports.
“We need a striker who scores goals because we have ability in the team to put balls in the box, so we need a striker to finish.
“We have to build a new future and we need a striker who not only scores goals but contributes by linking up play very well and pressing, which is very important.”
Ten Hag is interested in a forward who is able to do more than just stick the ball in the back of the net. From this point of view, Kane would be an ideal addition in the summer.
However, despite his expiring contract Daniel Levy is still expected to drive a hard bargain for the 29-year-old in the summer.
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