Chelsea are in talks to sign Swansea striker Fernando Llorente – as Antonio Conte looks to strengthen his squad before tomorrow’s transfer deadline.
Conte is a known admirer of the Spanish forward – and the pair previously worked together during the Italian’s tenure at Juventus winning three Serie A titles as well as reaching the UEFA Champions League final.
Sky Sports are reporting that Everton are also reportedly interested in the striker, but the Merseyside club have not yet lodged an official bid. Llorente has missed the start of the current campaign after suffering a broken arm during the summer, but was pivotal to the Swans’ survival last season as he scored 15 goals in 33 appearances for Paul Clement’s side.
Swansea are actively pursuing transfer targets before the close of the market and they have agreed a loan deal for Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches, as well as targeting former their striker Wilfried Bony in a move that should allow Llorente to depart.
Llorente is reported to be keen on the prospect of working with Antonio Conte again – and will most likely be one of a number of arrivals at Stamford Bridge – with the champions looking to secure deals for Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley in the next few hours.
Chelsea will be looking to add another forward to their ranks given the likelihood that Diego Costa has played his last game for the club, and Llorente will provide competition to Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi in the coming months as the London club compete domestically as well as in the Champions League.
Any potential transfer is believed to be set to cost the champions around £15m. Paul Clement has previously retained hopes of keeping the striker – but every player seems to have their price at the moment.
The 32-year old could very well be posing with a Chelsea shirt this time Thursday evening as the speed of Premier League arrivals and departures picks up dramatically on transfer deadline day.
Costa, meanwhile, looks set to finally return to Atletico Madrid as discussions continue between the two clubs over a £50m deal. The Times have reported that the fee would be £40m plus add-ons, and given that the Spanish transfer window doesn’t close until Friday, all parties have an extra 24 hours to seal the deal.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we speak to Longford boss Neale Fenn about his start to managerial life and look ahead to this weekend’s LOI fixtures and Ireland internationals.