Premier League • England

Chelsea mulling January transfer for PSG forward with unsolvable problem

PSG strikers Neymar and Mauro Icardi celebrating a goal 2021

Chelsea are ‘open’ to making a striker splash in the winter window for a PSG forward facing an impossible task in Paris, according to a report.

Chelsea forked out a club-record £97.5m to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge in the summer. While the Belgian hasn’t quite hit the heights he reached with Inter Milan yet, there is little doubt he will be a key cog in Thomas Tuchel’s machine for years to come.

Lukaku is currently sidelined through injury alongside fellow striker Timo Werner.

The two marksmen are the only out and out senior strikers left on the books. Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham both left for Serie A, while Michy Batshuayi joined Besiktas on loan.

That has thrust Kai Havertz to the spearhead of Chelsea’s attack. The German was on target as Chelsea squeezed past Southampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night. That indicated how vital adequate depth is for clubs challenging for multiple honours.

Perhaps with that in mind, Goal (citing a Spanish report) claim Chelsea are eyeing up PSG’s Mauro Icardi.

The Argentine, 28. left Inter for PSG in 2020, though has found regular game-time difficult to come by.

If usurping Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in Mauricio Pochettino’s starting eleven wasn’t hard enough, the arrival of Lionel Messi has given Icardi a near-impossible barrier to overcome.

Chelsea interested in Porto winger Luis Diaz

Chelsea interested in Porto winger Luis Diaz

Chelsea are said to be interested in Porto winger Luis Diaz, with more news on Antonio Rudiger and Erling Haaland.

As a result, Icardi has been tipped to move on. Tottenham and Italian pair Juventus and AC Milan are all reportedly keen.

But it is Chelsea who are linked today, with the Blues deemed ‘open’ to sanctioning a January raid.

Whether Icardi would get the regular starts he seeks at Stamford Bridge is up for debate. Tuchel has operated with a front two at times this season. Though Icardi is not known for his work-rate without the ball.

A front two of Lukaku and Icardi could present Tuchel with some of the issues Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing at Manchester United at present.

The Norwegian has been criticised for selecting too many luxury attackers who contribute little to the defensive side of the game.

Is Antonio Conte the right potential Ole Gunnar Solskjaer successor for Man Utd?

Tuchel’s Carabao Cup reaction; triple injury update

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel v Southampton October 2021

Neither Chelsea or Southampton could find a winner as the EFL Cup fifth round tie went to penalties. While Mason Mount had an effort saved by Fraser Forster, Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone also failed from 12 yards.

As a result, Reece James netted the decisive spot-kick – just as he did in the previous round.

Tuchel said after the game: “We had some last-minute changes because three potential starters got injured in training so it was not planned like this and not so many options from the bench.

“We knew it was the first time we played together like this and things would be tough against a team who put so much pressure on you like Southampton. That was the way it was.

Tuchel expects Cesar Azpilicueta (shoulder) to be fit to face Newcastle on Saturday. Andreas Christensen will return to training on Thursday following surgery on his tooth.

Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek reported some discomfort in his hip on Monday.

Tuchel said he felt happy to give other players chances and that “every competition is an important competition”. He added: “The problem is we have another match now in December which is pretty full.”

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