Striking Chelsea transfer targets: Every forward linked since the January window opened

Jamie Teather
West Ham have no plans to sell Arnautovic on a permanent basis: West Ham United via Getty Images

Chelsea are primed for a busy few days in the transfer market as the clock ticks down towards the January 31 deadline.

The Blues are looking to improve their attacking options, with Michy Batshuayi still not trusted by coach Antonio Conte and first-choice Alvaro Morata out of form.

Earlier in January, Conte said: "The bad news is we’re not scoring.

“We know we have to improve on this and my players know very well they can improve.

And the Italian is poised to solve the issue in the coming days. Edin Dzeko is the latest in a string of names linked with Chelsea, and his agent is due in London for talks on Tuesday.

But the former Manchester City man is seeking reassurances over the amount of game-time he will get before agreeing to the switch, forcing Conte to keep his options open.

Here, we look at every striker Chelsea have been linked with since the January transfer window opened...

Leon Bailey

Chelsea have been keeping a close eye on the Bayer Leverkusen starlet since he made his professional debut for Belgian side Genk in 2015, before joining Leverkusen for £13million in 2017.

Bailey, who posted a picture of himself in a Chelsea shirt in 2015 with the caption “dream big”, spoke to German newspaper Bild recently, admitting that ‘England was and still is my dream’.

While saying this, the 20-year-old reiterated that he remains happy playing in Germany, and is focused on targeting a Champions League spot with Bayer.

Richmond Boakye

The Ghanaian international emerged as a transfer target for Chelsea back in November and is currently playing at Red Star Belgrade and has found the net 27 times in 25 appearances for the Serbian side so far this season.

Standard sport understands that Chelsea representatives have been sent to watch the 24-year-old in action on both occasions when Red Star played Arsenal in the Europa League group stages.

Boakye has been signed by Antonio Conte previously during his time a Juventus in 2012, although he was loaned out for the next two seasons to Sassuolo and Elche respectively. With Boakye reportedly keen on a move to the Premier League, money should not be the issue for the Blues with valuing the forward at just under £2million.

Andy Carroll

The England and West Ham striker was rumoured to have been the first in a long list of strikers to offer the blues something different going forward.

The Hammers are reluctant to agree a loan move, with only a permanent deal likely to tempt the East Londoners.

However, David Moyes revealed in his exclusive Standard Sport column that the striker had suffered an ankle injury which – depending on the severity of the injury – could require an operation. This theoretically ended the interest really before it even got going.

Peter Crouch

The Stoke City striker signed a new one-year contract extension at the start of the season, and remains a valuable asset for Paul Lambert’s side as they fight to remain in the premier league.

The 36-year-old has played 19 games for the Potters so far this season – more than some would have expected, and has 3 goals and 2 assists. Crouch was a ball-boy at Stamford Bridge in his youth and comes from a family of Chelsea supporters.

New Stoke boss Paul Lambert remains confident of keeping the big man saying: ‘I’ve no intention of letting him go’. Stoke claim that they have had no contact with Chelsea regarding the matter, and are reluctant to agree to a deal without a replacement forward lined up.

Fernando Llorente

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was quick to dismiss questions regarding an approach from Chelsea for the striker.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Premier league clash with Southampton, he said: ‘I did not hear anything. No one said nothing to me about it. That is a rumour from the media.’

Conte was keen to sign the forward when he was due to leave Swansea last summer, but the Spaniard elected to leave for Pochettino’s side.

Ashley Barnes

Burnley say they have had no contact from Chelsea for their striker. Barnes has recorded three league goals this season, making 26 appearances – though mostly from the bench.

Burnley have had an impressive campaign so far, and Barnes has impressed when given the chance to play, scoring in a 2-0 win against struggling Swansea, a vital last gasp winning goal at home to Stoke, and another in a very respectable 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Boxing Day.

Marko Arnautovic

Arnautovic was only signed by West Ham in the summer for £25m from Stoke City, and the Hammers have no plans to lose their star man on loan or on a permanent basis.

The 28-year-old has been in inspired form since the arrival of new manager David Moyes. The striker has scored 6 goals and created 3 assists in his last 8 games, a fine turnaround after not being able to score a single goal with Slaven Bilic at the helm.

The Austrian scored his first hammers goal in December in a 1-0 against Chelsea, and that followed with a goal at his old stomping ground, where he showed there was no love lost in a 3-0 win at Stoke.

Christian Benteke

Benteke has struggled to find form, scoring just one goal in 18 premier league appearances this season, and the Blues were interested in the Belgian international last summer.

With Crystal Palace fighting a relegation battle, Roy Hodgson would be reluctant to lose any of his first-team players.

Islam Slimani

The Algerian international was signed by Leicester City at the beginning on last season from Sporting for a fee of £30million, but has barely featured for the foxes this term.

The 29-year-old, like many of the others who have gone before him, fits the target-man profile Chelsea are said to be wanting this January.

Edin Dzeko

Standard Sport understand that Chelsea have approached AS Roma regarding Dzeko and wing-back Emerson Palmieri in a £44million deal.

With reports that Emerson is set to fly to London to complete a move, it seems Dzeko is still yet to be reassured of his role under Conte.

Dzeko wants to be guaranteed a place in the starting line-up, whereas Conte approached the Bosnian with a view to having a more experienced striker on the bench.

Should the move go ahead, Dzeko would be cup-tied for this season’s Champions League having already featured in AS Roma’s run so far this term.

The 31-year-old scored a brace at Stamford Bridge, including a sumptuous volley in their 3-3 draw. Talks began between the two clubs last week, with Roma asking for an additional £13.2million in add-ons as well as Michy Batshuayi going the other way on loan.