Striker deal in the ‘home stretch’ to bring Italy-bound Chelsea exits to three

Date published: Thursday 3rd June 2021 2:01 - Steve Pearson

Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, livier Giroud and Cesar Azpilicueta celebrate Champions League final win, Chelsea

Three Chelsea first-teamers are edging closer to Serie A moves as Thomas Tuchel begins to trim his squad ahead of a massive summer splurge.

Chelsea are once again expected to be a major player in the summer transfer window. The latest report indicated no fewer than 11 players could be axed to free up funds for blockbuster captures. Per today’s reports in the Italian press, three of those players are inching closer to sealing their exits.

The first name is Blues centre-forward, Olivier Giroud. The veteran Frenchman, 34, is out of contract come the end of June. With Tuchel on the hunt for a superstar striker to complete his eleven, Giroud’s fate appears to be sealed.

Interest from across Europe arose, but AC Milan have emerged as frontrunners by all accounts. Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via SportWitness) reveal Giroud is ‘ready to say yes’ to their approach.

Giroud is reportedly ‘attracted’ to the idea of moving to another historically successful club. Furthermore, the common issue of money is deemed not to be an issue in this instance.

Giroud is stated to wish to ‘continue earning €4m net’ next season. That figure is something Milan are ‘prepared’ to pay. As such, a deal is deemed to be ‘in the home stretch’.

The Rossoneri may also be the landing spot for a second Chelsea man – Fikayo Tomori.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a superb loan spell in Milan last season, helping them to secure Champions League football for the first time in seven years.

A Tuesday report revealed AC are seeking to drive the centre-back’s previously agreed purchase price of £28m down. Nevertheless, a deal between the two clubs is ultimately expected to be reached.

The final Blues man who could also be moving to the city of Milan is Emerson Palmieri, though Inter are the interested party this time.

A second SportWitness article (citing Gazzetta dello Sport) notes the Italy international is Inter’s ‘number one’ target for their left flank.

A fee in the region of ‘€5-6m’ is speculated. That may not sound like much, but with his contract expiring next year, any fee received this summer is better than losing him as a free agent in 12 months’ time.

Napoli are also in the mix, but Emerson is tipped to become the first signing of new Inter boss Simone Inzaghi nevertheless.

Bielsa to end Chelsea forward’s nightmare?

Meanwhile, Leeds United may be set to hand Michy Batshuayi a route out of Chelsea with reports they are keen to sign the striker this summer.

He has had temporary stints with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund, Spanish club Valencia while enjoying two spells at Crystal Palace. The Belgian spent the 2020-2021 campaign at Selhurst Park, netting two top-flight goals from 18 outings.

One man who placed a bit more trust in Batshuayi was Whites chief Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentine was in charge of Marseille for one season between May 2014 and August 2015.

He handed the forward six starts among 26 Ligue 1 outings and he responded with nine league goals. Spanish coach Michel replaced the South American and Batshuayi ended up with 17 league goals in 2015-16.

Leeds have been linked with the front man before. The Elland Road outfit were said to hold an interest last summer and were quoted a price in the region of £22m.

However, football.london are suggesting he could be available for as little as £10m in the off-season. And The Telegraph state that Leeds could well be the club to finally end his capital nightmare.

READ MORE: Lukaku reveals definitive stance on Chelsea return after spilling Inter secret

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