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Chelsea striker rumors: Lautaro Martínez, Andrea Belotti, Olivier Giroud, Erling Haaland latest

Our centre forward search taking shape

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Bologna FC v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

Lautaro Martínez

Lautaro Martinez has been on Chelsea’s radar for a few years now, and it wouldn’t be silly season if he wasn’t linked with us now, especially as we supposedly continue to prepare for a big-name striker signing in the summer transfer window. According to ESPN, Lautaro is one of the alternatives we are looking at — Sergio Agüero being another — should we fail to bring Erling Braut Haaland to Stamford Bridge.

Since Romelu Lukaku is the main man for Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 at Inter Milan, Martínez, who usually partners the former Chelsea prospect (and potential transfer target) in attack, often goes under the radar. But the 23-year-old has 16 goals and 9 assists in 38 appearances for the Nerazzurri this season — after scoring 21 last season.

Lautaro’s contract expires in 2023, and it has a €111m release clause, although Inter could conceivably be willing to do business at less thanks to their expected financial troubles. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona could also make a move for Lautaro this coming summer.

Andrea Belotti

Torino’s Andrea Belotti was re-linked with Chelsea last week, and Corriere Granata’s latest report has conveyed further details on the situation. Belotti is reportedly holding off on contract extension talks, which might have something to do with Torino’s poor showing this season. They are currently in 17th after finishing 16th last season — a far cry from their 7th place finish in 2018-19.

Should Torino manage to stave off relegation again, they are willing to hand Belotti a contract worth €3m per year. However, with the 27-year-old reaching the most important junction in his career, he wants to be part of a project that he deems ambitious. AC Milan, Inter Milan, Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, West Ham, and of course, Chelsea are all said to have an interest, with all of them also able to offer a higher salary as well.

Olivier Giroud

Giroud’s contract is expiring in the summer, and with no option to extend it further, it would appear that the 34-year-old’s time at Stamford Bridge is finally coming to an end.

Giroud has started just 1 of our last 5 games, and with the Blues looking for centre forward help, it’s fair to assume that he will be (one of the players) making way. According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Giroud’s representatives are already sounding out other clubs, including AS Roma, who are potentially looking for a replacement for Edin Džeko.

Erling Haaland

Last but certainly not least, here’s the latest on everyone’s primary center forward target, whose agents and representatives have turned things up a notch over the past couple of weeks.

Borussia Dortmund’s head of first-team football, Sebastian Kehl chose to address those rumors, admitting that Haaland’s future is uncertain, despite BVB’s best attempts to keep him for the foreseeable future.

“Our position is clear: we are planning [for next season] with Erling. We are very relaxed about that. Of course, we have been following the situation. But we had a very, very good talk with Mino and [Haaland’s] father [former Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge] just recently.”

“We are very ambitious. We need Erling to achieve our sporting goals, and we have made that clear. From a certain point on, we may no longer be able to influence what the future will bring.”

-Sebastian Kehl; source: Sky Germany (via Four Four Two)

Manchester City are one of the prime contenders to sign Haaland, and as the Mirror reports, they may have an ace up their sleeves to win the race for the 20-year-old, whom they would prefer over even Lionel Messi. The Citizens are apparently willing to waive the 15 per cent sell-on clause in Jadon Sancho’s contract if Dortmund give them a lower price on Haaland. The Athletic have claimed that Dortmund’s €150m asking price is meant to stave off interest, and that BVB will not reduce the price, even if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The dance continues.

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