The Daily Telegraph are reporting that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is a keen admirer of Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke and would like to add the Belgian international to his squad at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues manager has previously pursued a similar type of ‘target man’ in Swansea’s Fernando Llorente in the January transfer window, and it seems to be a consistent theme that the Italian is looking for a big unit to make an impact off the bench.
Daily Telegraph journalist Matt Laws says Benteke would indeed be a secondary option, while the club is still seeking a full replacement for Diego Costa. Andrea Belotti, Alvaro Morata and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are the three main candidates for that position.
Law goes on to say that Chelsea have signed three of the five players they want to sign this summer with Real Madrid’s Danilo and a main striker the other two to be signed. Considering the Benteke link and the protracted pursuit of Juventus’s Alex Sandro, it seems like Conte is ideally looking for seven signings with two different types of striker an important part of his transfer plans.
At Juventus, the Italian used Llorente in a similar way with Carlos Tevez being the club’s main focal point up front. Today, Palace manager Frank de Boer has stated that Benteke is happy to stay at Selhurst Park but don’t be surprised if the Blues make an attempt to sign a target man before the end of the transfer window.