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Bayern take the lead in the race for €100m man Andrea Belotti — report

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Even though the most recent rumblings around the Diego Costa situation would have us believe that contract talks are underway to ensure that Chelsea’s leading goalscorer will stay with the club for many more seasons, until an actual signature materializes on an actual renewal form, we need to be keenly aware of potential replacements.

But while the likes of Álvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku are firmly at the top of the rumor pile when it comes to big-money signings, many will tell you that the ideal man to replace Costa would be 23-year-old Andrea Belotti, who plays for Torino FC.

Belotti, unfortunate chicken-based nickname and celebration aside, is certainly a quality player and potentially a complete striker with pace, power, skill, and work rate to spare. Some have called him the new Christian Vieri (once the world’s most expensive player, lest we forget), while he himself apparently idolizes Andrey Shevchenko (the AC Milan version, not the Chelsea version).

Belotti finished last season on a good note and all he’s done since is have himself a truly great breakout season. The man who had never scored more than a dozen goals in a season in his professional career already has 19 in just 24 games — a big part of the reason why Torino are the fourth highest scoring team in Serie A despite occupying only ninth position.

He was rewarded with a new five-year deal at the start of December, yet strangely, the new contract has only intensified the rumors around him thanks to the inclusion of a €100m release clause. Slowly, we’re learning to not even blink at the massive transfer fees quoted for some of Europe’s most eligible transfer targets.

So this is where Bayern come in, at least according to Torino-based La Stampa, who claim that Ancelotti has been “bewitched” and is ready to spend big. Of course, a search for Belotti on Google or Twitter will reveal that just about every big team have been linked in similar fashion already. Last month Arsenal were ready to sign him, last week Real Madrid were, yesterday Manchester United popped in, while tomorrow PSG or Chelsea or Liverpool or whoever else might be up.

The game, it would appear, is certainly afoot.

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