Chelsea have reportedly earmarked Gabriel Barbosa as their top January transfer target as Frank Lampard looks to sign a new central striker.
The Blues boss is said to want to reduce the pressure on Tammy Abraham by signing Barbosa, who has just ended a loan spell at Brazilian side Flamengo.
Chelsea could seal the deal by waiving a fee on veteran frontman Olivier Giroud, who is wanted by Inter boss Antonio Conte.
Brazil international Barbosa, who has also been strongly linked with London rivals West Ham, caught the eye of Lampard after scoring both of Flamengo’s goals in the Copa Libertadores final earlier this season.
He has been a prolific goalscorer in Brazil’s Serie A, scoring 70 goals in 112 appearances for Flamengo and former club Santos before that.
Lampard is still keen on Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho but Barbosa’s ability to play through the middle has made his signing a priority.
The Stamford Bridge chief is said to have around £150m to spend this month after the club’s transfer ban was lifted by CAS.
He is looking for a striker as his main priority and had targeted Timo Werner, who now looks certain to stay with RB Leipzig as they eye a first ever Bundesliga title.
Chelsea are also interested in bringing Nathan Ake back from Bournemouth in a deal worth £40m, helped by a buy-back clause in his contract.
Meanwhile, Tottenham and Chelsea are reportedly in contact with Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent as transfer talks ramp up over a potential £100m deal.
The Napoli star has emerged as one of the best centre-backs in European football over the past couple of seasons, leading to strong speculation that a move to the Premier League could be on the cards.
Chelsea are known admirers of the 28-year-old and are said to have been scouting him since Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge back in 2015.
And it would appear that the Portuguese tactician has continued his interest in the centre-back after taking over at Tottenham in November.
According to Corriere del Mezzogiorno’s Campania edition, the area where Naples is the capital, Koulibaly is very much still on the radar of both London clubs. Read more…