Premier League • England

Superstar striker to follow Datro Fofana into Chelsea as Boehly settles on three huge names

Todd Boehly, Chelsea chairman, after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea intend to back their David Datro Fofana coup up with a higher profile signing in the forward ranks, and a report has named three huge names they’re chasing along with a trio of second tier options that includes Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fabrizio Romano brought news of Chelsea’s imminent deal to sign Ivory Coast international Datro Fofana on Thursday. The 19-year-old had been linked with Liverpool in November and his club, Molde, were previously in talks with Brighton.

However, it’s the Blues who are poised to win the race after striking a ‘full agreement’ worth €10m (approx. £8.6m).

The 19-year-old is expected to arrive next month once personal terms are thrashed out. While not confirmed, the expectation is he’ll remain in the first-team as opposed to being loaned out.

Chelsea’s need for reinforcements in the final third grew following Armando Broja’s ACL injury. The Blues were already the lowest scorers (17 goals) of any side in the Premier League’s top half at present. Losing Broja for the remainder of the season turned an already worrying situation critical.

One school of thought suggested the anticipated Christopher Nkunku deal could simply be brought forward by six months. However, the current plan remains to sign RB Leipzig’s talisman in June, not January.

But per Italian outlet Calciomercato, Chelsea do intend to sign a more high profile forward than Datro Fofana next month. The hope is the bigger name will make an instant impact and via ESPN, the six names – three primary targets and three back-ups – have been cited.

Superstar forward to follow Datro Fofana 

Firstly, the primary options Chelsea are reportedly pursuing are Rafael Leao, Dusan Vlahovic and Tammy Abraham. All three play in Serie A for AC Milan, Juventus and Roma respectively.

Leao shone for Portugal at the World Cup when given the chance by Fernando Santos. He’s Milan’s talisman up front and was integral in their title-winning success last year.

The 23-year-old is usually deployed on the left wing and his contract status is giving Milan fits.

His current deal expires in the summer of 2024 and AC are desperate to pin him down to fresh terms. However, the report stresses there’s a sizeable gap when it comes to what each side is proposing in negotiations thus far.

Milan hope Leao will sign on the dotted line if offered around £120,000-a-week. For a player of his calibre and considerable attacking threat, it stands to reason Chelsea would be willing to pay far more.

All three Chelsea targets to cost huge sums

Regardless, even in spite of Leao’s contract situation, Milan will still demand ‘at least €80 million’ (approx. £70m) to sell in January. Vlahovic and Abraham are expected to cost similar fees if moving too.

The off-field drama at Juventus is prompting rampant speculation they’ll sanction major sales next month. CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs claimed Chelsea have already contacted Vlahovic’s agent and Calciomercato state Juve could be cajoled into selling.

Given the Serbian only arrived one year ago for an initial £70m, Juve will want to at least recoup what they paid.

Abraham, meanwhile, has an option in his contract that can be triggered next summer. The Blues can re-sign the England international for twice what Roma paid – £68m.

However, Abraham’s form has tanked this season following a superb debut campaign in the Italian capital. There’s been growing speculation Jose Mourinho may be willing to cash in if a bid close to next summer’s option is tabled.

The final three ‘second-tier’ options Chelsea are exploring are Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk.

The club will keep tabs on the trio, though a move will only be made if they’re unable to sign their preferred choices.

READ MORE: Tottenham sent warning over Chelsea raid with Blues flop lacking key trait for Premier League success