Thomas Tuchel is eager to add more firepower to his attack (Pictures: Getty Images)
Chelsea are considering a move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez and could even prioritise the Argentine over a swoop for Christopher Nkunku, according to reports.
The west London club will be sold to Todd Boehly’s consortium imminently, bringing an end to the sanctions which have prevented them from making any transfers or entering into contract talks.
Manager Thomas Tuchel’s first port of call is to bring in several new defenders, with the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers having left the back-line light on numbers.
Tuchel wants new signings to bridge the gap to Man City and Liverpool (Getty)
But the German coach also has serious question marks over the attacking options at his disposal after a disappointing campaign in front of goal, with midfielder Mason Mount the club’s top scorer.
The likes of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner – and others – are believed to be up for sale and RB Leipzig’s in-form attacking midfielder Nkunku had been mooted as a potential target.
But now The Athletic claim there is an attacker Chelsea are even more keen to sign: Romelu Lukaku’s old Inter wingman Martinez.
The 24-year-old netted 21 goals in Serie A last season and had struck up an excellent, almost telepathic relationship with Lukaku in the two campaigns prior to that.
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Lukaku only managed to score eight goals in his first season back in the Premier League but it would be hoped a reunion with Martinez might help the Belgian deliver on his enormous, £97.5million price tag.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the Argentine will not come cheap with Inter loathe to lose their top scorer – though the Blues’ pursuit could once again be boosted by the Serie A side’s need to sell one marquee player.
In order to comply with Financial Fair Play and also strengthen in other areas of the pitch, Inter are resigned to cashing in on one big player this summer just as they did with Lukaku a year ago.
Lukaku and Martinez enjoyed a fruitful partnership (Picture: Getty)
They would prefer not to lose Martinez – and it is possible they could cash in on someone else, such as Alessandro Bastoni, instead – while Inter are believed to want as much as €80m (£68m) for the forward.
For his part, Martinez is happy and settled at Inter and the Italian side have yet to receive a concrete offer – though Chelsea’s hands are still tied until their sanctions are lifted.
Spending so much on Martinez would dilute how much Tuchel can spend on defenders and Nkunku is considered a less expensive alternative, while Chelsea will push ahead with a move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde as soon as they are permitted to conduct business again.
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