Pochettino believes Chelsea are ‘building something’
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino may need to rethink his transfer plans for January already after it emerged one of his top targets could reportedly be heading to a Premier League rival. The Blues head coach is keen to bolster his striking options in the winter transfer window after watching his goal-shy attackers waste chances in front of goal, but the Argentinian could be left disappointed in his attempts to strengthen his squad.
Chelsea are thought to have been monitoring Victor Osimhen’s situation at Napoli as the striker has stalled over signing a contract extension. The 24-year-old was set to commit his future to the Italian champions before an internal row unfolded regarding a bizarre post appearing to mock him, which was uploaded from the club’s social media accounts.
The west London side decided to begin the season with Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja as their strikers, with Christopher Nkunku out injured. But it may be a decision Pochettino now regrets after watching his side score 11 goals in eight games.
Between them, Jackson and Broja have only netted three times this season in the Premier League and Pochettino suggested the club could do with a different profile of striker earlier in the summer: “If the club can add some different profiles to help us we are open but I am so happy with both,” he said in July.
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Osimhen would have fit the bill as a target man with a knack for a lethal poacher in the box, having found the net 65 times in 111 appearances for the Partenopei. However, they look set to miss out on the Nigeria international as one of their Premier League rivals has stolen a march.
Reports from Italy claim Liverpool have already struck an ‘agreement’ with the player’s agent, causing him to halt negotiations with his club over a new contract. It remains to be seen whether the Reds can tempt Napoli into selling the former Lille frontman next summer, considering their president Aurelio De Laurentiis has the reputation of being a tough negotiator.
Either way, Liverpool’s interest could force Pochettino to rip up his current plans and explore other options. Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic continues to be tentatively linked with a move to the Premier League and the west London club are thought to be interested in the Serbian.
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Vlahovic has struck four goals in six games for Max Allegri’s side this season, and the 23-year-old may prefer to stay in Serie A. But the Bianconeri’s financial situation has showed no signs of abating for now, meaning they could be forced to sell the £60m-rated star if they need to raise funds.
Brentford target man Ivan Toney and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins are other possible alternatives to Osimhen, although it would require a huge investment upwards of £70m to sign either of the England international pair.
Signing one of Toney and Watkins would unquestionably strengthen Chelsea’s ailing frontline, But losing out on Osimhen to Liverpool would prove to be a bitter pill to swallow if he were to line up against them, rather than for them.
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