Chelsea appear to be closing in on their second signing of the January transfer window – but their hunt for a striker continues to prove problematic.
The Blues have already recruited £15m midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton this month as Antonio Conte looks to bad out his squad, and Sky Sports have reported that the Premier League side are closing on a deal for Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri.
The Premier League side have made significant headway in their bid to bring the Brazilian to Stamford Bridge, and are reportedly on the verge of signing him, but the deal is slightly complicated by their pursuit of striker Edin Dzeko.
Chelsea are hoping to sign both players from Giallorossi for a combined fee of around €50m (£44m) plus €10m in add-ons, but the former Manchester City forward’s wage demands are apparently proving to be a problem. Should the move for Dzeko break down, how Roma valued Palmieri in the deal could cause negotiations to drag on a bit longer.
The potential inclusion of Michy Batshuayi in any deal would also have be taken into account, with Italian side deciding whether or not to ask for the Belgian striker in part-exchange or instead pursue Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge in the event of Dzeko’s departure.
Chelsea’s search for a striker has been well-publicised this month. In addition to Dzeko, they have also been linked with the likes of Christian Benteke, Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes, Fernando Llorente, Islam Slimani and Marko Arnautovic.
It remains to be seen if Conte is able to bolster the strike force or, as was the case in the summer, the Chelsea boss is left frustrated at the end of the transfer window.