London: Chelsea are looking at options to strengthen their attack next month, including Gonzalo Higuain and Nabil Fekir, as Alvaro Morata’s future at the club looks increasingly bleak.
Chelsea want a new striker and have held talks with AC Milan and Juventus about taking over Higuain’s season-long loan from the Turin club, with Morata moving to the San Siro for the rest of the season. Milan are interested in midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is also a target of Monaco.
Allowing Chelsea to take over Higuain’s loan would save Milan money, as Juve are due an pounds 8 million fee. Higuain also earns more than Morata’s pounds 140,000-a-week wages.
Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso played down the possibility of Higuain joining Chelsea on Friday, but it is understood there will be further talks between the clubs.
Morata has not scored in the Premier League since the start of last month and has been injured. The big advantage of Chelsea signing Higuain would be that he could slot into head coach Maurizio Sarri’s style immediately, having played for him at Napoli. The 31-year-old’s age could prove a sticking point, although his Juve contract only runs to 2021.
Higuain is not the only attacking player Chelsea are looking at, however, with Lyon’s Fekir also on their radar. Although he is more of a wide player or a midfielder, his signing would allow Sarri to deploy Eden Hazard through the middle more regularly.
Liverpool agreed a deal worth up to pounds 52.75 million for Fekir in the summer but, with his contract expiring in 2020, Chelsea will be looking to pay a smaller fee for the 25-year-old.
Chelsea are still hopeful of signing Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, but the German club will only sell him at the end of the season. Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy are also on the radar.
Fabregas, along with David Luiz, is heading towards the Chelsea exit door because of the club’s policy of only offering players aged 30 or over one-year extensions. Luiz will leave on a free transfer at the end of the season, but Fabregas could leave next month.
— The Telegraph Group Limited, London 2018