Premier League • England

Chelsea to ‘walk away’ from transfer in major twist as Maresca eyes SIX new striker targets

Chelsea have drawn up a new shortlist of striker targets

Chelsea have drawn up a new shortlist of striker targets

Chelsea have big plans for the transfer window and as we’ve consistently reported, Enzo Maresca is keen to sign a striker ahead of the new season.

The Italian coach wants more competition for Nicolas Jackson and it’s very likely that Armando Broja will be sold in the coming weeks amid interest from Everton and others.

Chelsea have had several big-name centre-forwards on their radar over the past few months but Aston Villa star Jhon Duran has been the most heavily-linked recently.

The Blues’ recruitment chiefs view Duran, 20, as a player who could become a world-class talent in the future and fits in with their philosophy of buying youngsters with high potential.

However, reports suggest that the Colombian international’s price tag of £40m has put Chelsea off somewhat and they’re prepared to walk away and focus on other targets.

According to journalist Simon Phillips, Chelsea have drawn up a shortlist of five new striker targets – while TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal a sixth name.

“Chelsea are ‘preparing’ to walk away from the [Duran] deal, perhaps putting pressure on Villa to reduce their asking price for him,” Phillips wrote on his Substack.

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“As of last night, talks had continued yesterday, and I do believe talks will continue again today. There is still every chance this deal gets done, but it will need one side to fold on their stance.

“Villa are not only asking for £40m for Duran, but they are also asking for too much of the fee up front.”

SIX new Chelsea striker targets revealed

As per Phillips’ report, Chelsea have identified five potential alternatives to Duran – three of which are also Premier League strikers.

“Chelsea could soon walk away from Duran and turn attentions elsewhere,” Phillips added.

“Chelsea have been speaking internally on other options they could go for this week, and the most recent names mentioned to me via our sources is Ivan Toney of Brentford, Dominic Solanke of Bournemouth, and Evan Ferguson of Brighton.

“There is still interest in Serhou Guirassy of Stuttgart, and Tammy Abraham of Roma too. Other names are also on our shortlist.”

Those five targets are certainly something for Chelsea fans to get excited about, as they’re all more experienced than Duran and have better goal scoring records.

Sources have revealed to TEAMtalk’s transfer correspondent Fraser Gillan that RB Leipzig forward Lois Openda is also being eyed by Chelsea, with the price to sign the Belgium international coming to light.

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