Chelsea will likely make “one big signing” in the upcoming transfer window, which could also see Michy Batshuayi leave the club, according to one journalist.
The Blues were quiet in last summer’s market due to their transfer ban and despite the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowing the club to spend in January, Hakim Ziyech – who will arrive this summer – was Chelsea’s only signing.
Chelsea’s outlook on the upcoming transfer window has changed in recent weeks after Olivier Giroud committed to an extra year at Stamford Bridge, having been linked with an exit in January.
Frank Lampard is said to still be looking for support up top – as well as additions elsewhere – with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz linked in the past week.
Speaking to The Athletic’s Straight Outta Cobham podcast, reporter Simon Johnson quoted a club source in suggesting that a marquee signing is on the way.
He also revealed that Lampard is looking for a striker who can hold the ball up, which could lead to Belgium international Batshuayi’s exit.
“I think the plan before the lockdown was for Giroud to sign a deal for two reasons – partly as a protection assurance from Chelsea’s point of view just in case things didn’t work out but primarily the plan was that of the two strikers to be moved on it was Batshuayi because he was going to carry the bigger transfer value,” Johnson said.
“Of course, things have changed since then but I still think that of the two strikers if they can move on it will be Batshuayi.
“Yes, they’re on the hunt for another forward but it’s a lot more difficult for the many complications this has brought. I think Chelsea have enough in their budget.
“I was talking to someone the other day, they were suggesting that in all likelihood there’ll be one big signing, and then whatever else comes up, swap deals etc, etc.
Johnson added: “The striker which Frank wants is someone who can hold up the ball and play around him, which is very much a Giroud-type striker and that certainly rules out Batshuayi, who increasingly became a peripheral figure.
“He certainly lost his place on the bench by the latter part when the season was taking place.”
Lyon marksman Moussa Dembele and Napoli’s Dries Mertens were both linked with Chelsea in January and despite Lampard admitting surprise at supposed interest in the former, he looked visibly frustrated at the end of the month after no deals were done.
The Blues boss will, however, be greatly anticipating Ziyech’s arrival after the Moroccan’s eight goals and 21 assists made him Ajax’s Player of the Year for a third – albeit curtailed – season in a row.