Premier League • England

Chelsea loan bid for experienced Prem striker and top Wolves target rejected, club wants permanent sale


Chelsea have reportedly had a shock loan move for West Ham United striker Michail Antonio rejected, as Graham Potter looks to add attacking options to his squad. 

The Blues have brought in four new players this month, as Todd Boehly and co look for additions that can help them bridge the current 10-point gap with the top four.

Antonio has struggled to get into the West Ham team this season, so the fact that Chelsea are considering him is representative of how chaotic their transfer business has been.

The Jamaica international has made only eight league starts under David Moyes so far this season, scoring two goals in 18 appearances overall.

Nevertheless, Chelsea are in the market for an new striker, ideally with Premier League experience.

Armando Broja is expected to be out for the season with an injury, while new striker signing David Datro Fofana is still only 19. Pierre-Emerick Aubambeyang is, at the moment, Potter’s only senior striker.

Chelsea have also signed Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season, which will cost them approximately £10m in loan fees and £5m in wages.

However, while he has played as a central striker, Felix’s natural position is as a second striker or winger, which is where Potter will likely utilize him after he serves a three-game suspension he picked up on his debut against Fulham on Thursday.

Clearly, Chelsea need someone to provide immediate competition for Aubameyang, but Antonio still seems to be a bizarre choice.

Antonio move reeks of Chelsea desperation, as Wolves also target West Ham man

As mentioned, Antonio has scored just two goals in 18 appearances for the Hammers this season and has fallen behind their new signing Gianluca Scamacca in the pecking order.

Despite this, he still represents a good quality, traditional centre-forward option on his day.

Incredibly strong, quick and a decent finisher, Antonio has been an important player overall for West Ham over the past few seasons.

Since joining the club in 2015, the forward has scored 66 goals in 253 appearances for the Hammers, also contributing 41 assists, so he definitely knows where the net is.

However, at 32, Antonio would be very much a stop-gap solution for Chelsea, which shows how desperate they are to add another proven striker to their ranks, albeit temporarily.

According to the MetroWest Ham have no intention of letting Antonio leave on loan but may entertain permanent offers this month.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Wolves are also interested in signing Antonio this winter, so they could potentially get a decent return for the Jamaican if a bidding war takes place.

But, West Ham boss Moyes has played down suggestions of a departure.

Speaking in a recent press conference, he said: “We’ve had no offer [for Antonio] and no enquiry so I don’t know where that’s grown legs from.”

If the links between Chelsea and Antonio are to be believed, it seems that Boehly will have to put his money where his mouth is and table a permanent offer for him.

Although, the fact that they are seriously considering signing Antonio shows how limited they are in terms of short-term, experienced, attacking targets.

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