Even after the arrival of Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a club record transfer fee to address the striker woes opened by Diego Costa’s fallout with Antonio Conte and Chelsea in general, the club have longed to bring a new striker to the fold. The pursuit for a new centre-forward despite the presence of Michy Batshuayi in the squad might be Conte himself, who reportedly lacks trust in the Belgian and wants something else of a back-up; and/or Michy, who seems to be pushing for a way out of Stamford Bridge on a temporary manner (and likely aiming for a World Cup spot with his national team).
Fortunately, the ludicrous set of striking targets with whom we were linked at the start of the winter transfer window are now hopefully off the table, as we draw closer to Roma’s Edin Dzeko signature. According to the London Evening Standard, the Bosnian striker agent Irfan Redzepagic is travelling to London today to have a meeting with the Blues tomorrow.
The main issue standing between the deal now is the player himself, who needs to be convinced that he will be more than a mere back-up to Morata. Chelsea also have some worries over Dzeko’s wage demands, as he currently earns £76,000 per week at Roma and may ask for more upon his return to England. But they have the funds to cushion the financial impact of the former Manchester City striker in the club’s books.
In case the deal falls apart, the good news is that it would have no repercussions in our chase for Dzeko’s teammate Emerson Palmieri. Thus the only loser in the potential debacle would be Roma, who need to raise £36.7 million as per the Standard report to comply to Financial Fair Play rulings — a common happenstance every season for the Giallorossi.
Dzeko has not been in great form over his last games at Roma, although the team themselves are also in muddy waters. There is also a problem regarding his age, and the length of his contract as Chelsea do not offer anything beyond one-year deals to players past the age of 30. Would they break this “rule” to fit Dzeko, and also diminish his impact in our books? Probably...
In any case, he fits the bill of the type of striker Conte has been looking for since his arrival, as he showed over our two encounters in the Champions League this season. Unfortunately he will not be available to help us beat Barcelona in the round of 16, but he should be more than able to take up the goalscoring (and everything else) burden set on Morata’s shoulders, while allowing Michy to seek some minutes elsewhere.