Antonio Conte has made it clear he wants to bring a target man to Chelsea this month and the list of possible targets continues to grow.
Recent rumours have suggested moves for Andy Carroll, Christian Benteke, and Peter Crouch, while a deal is apparently close for Roma pair Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri.
But, despite that potential deal, various media outlets on Sunday have identified two other big centre forwards who are supposedly on Conte’s radar.
The Sun has reported that super-agent Pini Zahavi has lined up a deal between Chelsea and Burnley for Ashley Barnes, while The Times has reported an approach to Leicester City regarding a loan deal for Islam Slimani.
Barnes is perhaps the most surprising of all the aforementioned targets.
He is somewhat of a journeyman, having appeared for a total of nine clubs throughout his career and even earning a cap for the Austrian u-20s back in 2008. This is despite being born in England, to English parents.
His goal scoring record also leaves a lot to be desired. In 114 league games, since joining Burnley in January 2014, Barnes has netted just 17 goals.
Slimani is also a surprise option, but possibly the better of the two.
The powerful Algerian has failed to impress since joining Leicester City in a £28 million deal in August 2016. He has scored just eight goals in 35 league appearances and has been used mainly as a substitute since his arrival.
The fact Barnes and Slimani are now being mentioned as transfer targets for the reigning English league champions shows just how desperate Conte is to add to his teams attacking options.
Despite sitting in third position in the Premier League, Chelsea are the lowest scorers of the current top five.
Top scorer Alvaro Morata has failed to find the net since St Stephen’s Day. In fact, the Spaniard has netted just twice in his last eleven matches in all competition and is yet to find the net in 2018.
The only other recognised forward in the senior squad is Michy Batshuayi and he has scored just two league goals this season.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena