Swansea’s City forward Fernando Llorente is reportedly on the verge of signing for Chelsea as the Blues seek a replacement for Diego Costa.
According to a report by Evening Standard, Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign Swansea City forward Fernando Llorente after a failed bid in January. Llorente has worked with the Blues boss Antonio Conte before at Juventus and shares a good rapport with the Italian manager.
Chelsea did come close to signing the 32-year-old centre-forward in the January transfer window, but Swansea did not allow him to move at the time. However, Swansea appear to be reconsidering since a move is expected to happen sometime soon since he does only have a year left on his current contract.
Llorente is richly experienced at the age of 32 and has proven his Premier League quality after bagging an impressive 15 goals in his first season of English football. It is believed that Chelsea are eyeing him as a back-up option and perhaps not a full-time regular starter.
Chelsea need to find a replacement for Bertrand Traore, Tammy Abraham and even Diego Costa, who is strongly being linked to an exit move this summer. Additionally, Michy Batshuayi’s future also seems uncertain which will leave Conte with a rather mediocre attack.
The Chelsea boss needs to desperately boost his options up front since that could hold the key to their fortunes in the next season. Llorente is unlikely to cost much and should be a relatively easy move to secure for the Blues.
If Michy Batshuayi chooses to remain with Chelsea next season, it will not be enough for them to play with a centre forward pair of him and Llorente since it will lack power and pace. Hence, signing a quality proven goal-scorer should be top priority since only then will they be able to do well in the Premier League and Champions League.
Chelsea were keen on signing Romelu Lukaku for that very reason but the striker is believed to be heading to Manchester United instead and it will come as a major blow to Conte since Lukaku was a priority target.
The Blues are eyeing alternatives for a marquee striker and need to secure a deal for the same, and it now remains to be seen if they can recruit a top class striker in this window.