Chelsea ready to make bid for £88m-rated Italy international

Joe Williams

Chelsea are preparing to launch an offer for Torino’s Andrea Belotti as they look to bring in a striker this summer, according to reports.

The 23-year-old scored 26 goals in 35 Serie A appearances last season in a side that could only manage a ninth-placed finish.

La Stampa claims that the Blues will make an offer close to the £88million release clause in his contract with Antonio Conte wanting the Italy international to replace Diego Costa this summer.

Costa is set to leave this summer with Conte reportedly telling the Spaniard not to return for the start of pre-season or the tours to China and Singapore.

And, with the Premier League champions missing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, La Stampa report that Conte has told the Stamford Bridge hierarchy that a move for Belotti should be a priority.

Napoli’s Duvan Zapata is understood to be a target for Torino if they end up selling Belotti, with the Serie A club’s president, Urbano Cairo, admitting there has been interest in their star forward.

“He has a €100m release clause. For now no-one has come in for him. I’m glad he’s with us and I hope he can stay,” Cairo told Sky Italia.

“I want to understand his intentions, I’m happy for him to stay, not least because we’ve given up interesting options which didn’t reach the €100m clause.

“They weren’t real offers, but there were contacts. I don’t want to imagine a Toro without Il Gallo.”