Chelsea could finally be about to provide Antonio Conte with much-needed squad depth in the coming days.
The Blues are, according to GIanluca Di Marzio, close to securing deals to recruit Roma pair Emerson Palmieri and Edin Dzeko for a total expenditure of €50m plus €10m in add-ons.
The signing of Dzeko, in particular will bring Chelsea’s much-publicised hunt for a target man to an end. The Blues had been prominently linked with moves for former Liverpool and England strikers Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch in recent days, but the Bosnian international would represent a step-up in quality on both and could challenge misfiring Alvaro Morata for a starting spot.
The 31-year-old ex-Man City striker scored 39 goals in 51 games for Roma last season, and his record of 12 in 26 in this campaign, while not as strong as last year, is still a better strike rate than Morata’s 12 in 31.
A move for the forward is likely to see Michy Batshuayi leave Stamford Bridge, possibly in the other direction as part of the deal.
Palmieri, meanwhile, is a highly-rated left-back but has not been without his njury problems. The 23-year-old has only made 47 appearances for the Giallorossi in three seasons, and has just returned to the first team after serious injury.
Chelsea will be under pressure to complete both deals before the end of the transfer window, but will be confident of doing so.
In our first Mixer Irish Football Podcast of 2018, we discuss Martin O’Neill’s rejection of the Stoke job and what that means for his Ireland role, a new era at Limerick and all of the latest League of Ireland transfer news.