Chelsea step up scouting of Napoli striker
Chelsea are exploring signing a new striker next summer, 90min understands, with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen emerging as a favourite among scouts.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was brought in from Barcelona late in the summer transfer window, and while his return of three goals from six games is more than respectable, there is an acceptance that the 33-year-old will not be Chelsea’s long-term striker.
The Blues do have Romelu Lukaku on the books, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Chelsea and manager Graham Potter are not planning to reintegrate the Belgian in the squad after his loan from Inter comes to an end and will instead try to offload him permanently.
In his place, Chelsea hope to make a significant splash on a new striker and scouts have been sent around the world to draw up a list of potential options, and there have been glowing reports of 23-year-old Osimhen, who has been of interest to the Blues in the past.
The Nigeria international has four goals in eight games this season, maintaining the electric form that saw him finish the 2021/22 Serie A campaign with 14 goals in 27 outings.
Under contract until 2025, Osimhen has been highlighted as a possible target but Chelsea are by no means alone, with Bayern Munich known to be fans of the Nigeria international.
With competition for Osimhen’s signature expected to be fierce, Chelsea are considering multiple options and another who has impressed scouts is Lille’s Jonathan David. The Canada international took Osimhen’s place in the Lille setup in 2020 and has nine goals in just 11 Ligue 1 games this year.
Chelsea are also understood to hold an interest in Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic and would consider a move for the Serb if he hit the market, but that is not expected to happen. 90min understands neither Vlahovic nor Juventus have any desire to force an exit.
As well as a new striker, Chelsea continue to pursue a double deal for RB Leipzig duo Christopher Nkunku and Josko Gvardiol, while West Ham’s Declan Rice has been made the Blues’ top midfield target.
Brighton’s Leandro Trossard is also of interest to former Seagulls boss Potter, but he has been offered a club-record contract to commit his future to the team.