Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has reportedly added Andrea Belotti to his list of possible replacements for Timo Werner this summer.
Werner arrived at Chelsea in a big-money move from RB Leipzig last summer. However, he has not been able to replicate the form he showed in Germany. He has just five Premier League goals to his name so far and the last of those came over a month ago.
Werner’s struggles extended onto the international stage during the recent break as well. He missed a big chance for Germany in their shock 2-1 loss to North Macedonia.
It summed up his lack of confidence at present, a problem that Tuchel will now have to confront as club action returns.
The likes of Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku have both been mentioned as targets. However, the pair would cost huge fees, while Haaland’s wages alone are said to be worth an eye-watering £600,000 a week.
Realistically, Haaland is probably out of even Chelsea’s league. Any deal for Lukaku, meanwhile, would also mean dealing with Mino Raiola again – something Roman Abramovich has vowed not to do.
A more realistic target, however, could be Belloti. The Torino striker has enjoyed another prolific season, having netted 11 goals and provided six assists in 25 Serie A appearances.
Corriere Granato reports Chelsea are one of four interested Premier League sides.
High flying West Ham, Jose Mourinho’s Spurs and Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton are the other teams touted.
Belotti is no stranger to English audiences having been strongly linked with Manchester United during Mourinho’s spell in charge.
The report states the striker, now 27, has a release clause worth £85m. However, with his contract due to expire in summer 2022, he could move for considerably less this summer.
His wages are unlikely to be a problem either. As Torino’s top earner, Belotti is said to earn £35,000 a week – money that Chelsea could comfortably more than double.
Tuchel gives Werner a show of faith
Tuchel, meanwhile, seems ready to hand Werner his chance during Saturday lunchtime’s clash with West Brom. Referring to his miss in midweek for Germany, the Blues boss was quick to make light of his situation.
“It was a bad pass from Ilkay Gundogan is how I see it!” Tuchel exclaimed. “I’m only joking. He missed that chance and everybody is passionate to talk about it which is a bit annoying.
“It’s easy at the moment to point the finger at Timo, which I can’t understand. I am happy he is back here.
“To look at it honestly, he is in a moment where he lacks confidence and things aren’t too easy. The goals are not working out as usual but he works out for us.
“He still scores for us, still assists for us, still wins penalties. If this is the most critical point of his career you can say it’s still pretty impressive so far.
“Timo has scored since he was five years old and he never stopped. So he can trust his brain and body, it will come back. That’s easier said than done.
“Yesterday I sent him in from training because he wanted to do extra finishing with us. But I sent him in because it will come. The goals will come.
“Of course, he needs to do something and the best thing to do is to work hard. Work hard against the ball, make runs, don’t hesitate, be fearless, don’t overthink it.
“That’s easy for me to say but it’s the challenge right now. Timo will start tomorrow and there we go.”