Ever since Antonio Conte attended a Torino vs. Fiorentina match back in October, Chelsea have been low-key linked with a certain Andrea Belotti. The fact that all that Belotti’s done since is lead Serie A in goals scored has certainly not diminished that narrative, though a couple months ago, it were supposedly Bayern Munich who were in the lead for the €100m-rated striker.
Of course, with Conte apparently back in Turin earlier this week and having lunch with Torino FC head coach Siniša Mihajlović, it was only a matter of time for a fresh round of rumors to begin. (Checco Zalone is an Italian celebrity comic actor.)
Sure enough, here’s Tuttosport to oblige us, with a bit of front page news.
The jaunty font at the top isn’t lending this any more credibility than the bare minimum that Tuttosport provides, but they’re claiming (via ESPN) that Torino have knocked back Chelsea’s €60m (plus add-ons) bid. Conte apparently is a big fan, but Torino are confident that they can convince Belotti to stay. Or perhaps hold out for the €100m release clause that Bayern were supposedly ready to pay as per the earlier rumors.
In any case, if we’re looking for potential Costa-replacement options beyond just Lukaku or Morata, Belotti is certainly a name to keep in mind.