Chelsea have moved ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi, according to calciomercato.com.
The Italian outlet have claimed that Antonio Conte’s side have launched first contact for the Argentinian and could be set to move ahead with a bid for the 23-year-old before the end of the window.
Napoli have also been heavily linked with a move for Icardi after losing Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus, and certainly do not lack the finances after their top goalscorer’s €90m move to the Turin giants.
The forward’s agent and wife Wanda Nara has been fuelling transfer speculation all summer, tweeting from London last month in a social media move which instigated rumours that Icardi was set to join Arsenal.
However, the move never came to fruition for one reason or the other, and now it seems that Conte has decided to take decisive action as he looks to add more firepower to his squad ahead of the new season.
Alvaro Morata had appeared to be Chelsea’s prime target up front but Real Madrid seem reluctant to sell despite the player’s unhappiness that he will not break into a front three of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Arsenal may be sparked into making a bid for Icardi now after falling on the backburner.
Jamie Vardy has already snubbed Arsene Wenger’s side and Lyon’s exorbitant demands of £60m for Alexandre Lacazette has significantly reduced the Gunners interest in the Frenchman.
It could well be a race between Wenger and Conte to lure Icardi to the Premier League.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.