Chelsea raid key as Villa, Newcastle, Rangers, Leeds, WBA eye striker trades

Chelsea’s bid to bring in a new striker this month is key to a series of potential transfer moves for a number of attacking stars this month, according to reports.

The Blues are on the hunt for a new hitman in January and last week saw a cheeky approach for Lyon’s Moussa Dembele fall short, prompting the Ligue 1 club to issue an angry response.

However, reports claim the Blues have since turned their attentions to Inter Milan’s unwanted frontman Gabriel Barbosa, who has smashed in 43 goals in 58 appearances during a two-year loan stint back in his homeland with Flamengo.

Inter reportedly turned down a €16m offer from the Brazilian side to make the permanent, but reports last week claimed both West Ham and Crystal Palace were considering meeting the Italian side’s €20m asking price.

However, with Chelsea also looking to bring the player to Stamford Bridge, his arrival could set the wheels in motion for a number of transfer moves for a two other strikers both looking to revive their careers over the second half of the season.

According to a report in the Birmingham Mail, the arrival of a new centre forward with clear the path for Olivier Giroud to leave Stamford Bridge this month.

Giroud, a long way down Frank Lampard’s pecking order at Stamford Bridge, is looking to depart the Blues in order to keep alive his hopes of making France’s Euro 2020 squad, having been given a warning by Didier Deschamps over his lack of playing time.

Both Aston Villa and Newcastle are said to be keen on the Frenchman, whom is still likely to command a pretty hefty fee despite his advancing years at 33.

Discussing his future recently, Lampard said: “I have spoken with him. If the conditions are that it is something Oli really wants to do and it works for the club and for me and the squad, then it’s something that could happen.


“But it’s only when all three bases are covered. So, we’re still there.”

And if the striker were to move to St James’ Park – Steve Bruce is reported by the Daily Telegraph to have already asked to sign the former Arsenal star on loan – then that will free up the much-coveted Dwight Gayle to make a much-anticipated move away from Tyneside.

Gayle, who spent last season on loan at West Brom, has featured in just eight games for the Magpies this season and is yet to get off the mark.

Despite his lack of goals, however, Gayle will have no shortage of takers this month with the likes of Rangers, Leeds, West Brom, Nottingham Forest and Rangers all linked with his signature.

His lofty wages, however, could prove problematic for the likes of Leeds, though their need appears to be greater now after the return to Arsenal last week of on-loan striker Eddie Nketiah.

Reports in Scotland have mentioned Steven Gerrard’s Rangers as the latest suitors for the 29-year-old, though the Daily Record were quick to stress the former Crystal Palace frontman was not a target on Sunday.