Chelsea boss Conte admits striker deal is dead in the water

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has admitted the club’s move for Edin Dzeko is dead in the water.

The Blues were linked with a move for the Roma forward, but personal terms are understood to have held up the deal and Conte is now looking elsewhere at potential targets.

Conte said: “He’s Roma’s player and I think that he will continue to be Roma’s player.”

The Italian did insist that Michy Batshuayi remains in contention for Chelsea’s match against Bournemouth on Wednesday, depsite the possibility of a loan move to Borussia Dortmund.

Batshuayi is believed to favour regular first-team opportunities, but Conte is reluctant to allow him to leave with Alvaro Morata still recovering from a back injury.

“Yes, he’s in contention for tomorrow’s game,” Conte said of Batshuayi. “I don’t know [if he will leave] but now he’s a Chelsea player. For this reason he’s in contention, also because I have Morata injured and I don’t have other options, especially if Willian is also injured. Hazard can play No. 9, and then [I have to] find another No. 10.”

Olivier Giroud and Fernando Llorente are understood to be on Conte’s list of targets.

Speaking about Giroud, Conte added: “I give my opinion to the club and then they try to do their best in the transfer market. I can speak about specific characteristics of players and how we can improve. But we are talking about players of other teams and must continue to have respect.”