Chelsea still want Fernando Llorente despite Olivier Giroud interest as Tottenham identify replacement striker

The Arsenal man remains the Blues No 1 target but they are keeping their options open with the deadline rapidly approaching

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 30 January 2018 17:08
Premier League transfer round-up: Latest deals from the January window

Chelsea are still looking to do a deal for Tottenham Hotspur’s Fernando Llorente, with serious interest in the striker having been revived on Monday night as they seek an alternative striker.

The champions are also pursuing Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud as their main target, but it is felt that the Spanish forward would cost just £25m rather than the £35m Giroud would. A further point to weight up would be that Llorente would be cup-tied for the Champions League, and that Arsenal actually have a need to sell their player in the way that Spurs do not, as they seek Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Mauricio Pochettino stressed he doesn’t know anything about any interest in Tuesday, but did not shut down the idea of sale, and The Independent has been told Spurs have identified potential replacements in that event, like West Bromwich Albion’s Salomon Rondon.

Antonio Conte was similarly ambiguous, stating: “In the summer [we tried to buy Llorente], it was the summer. Now it is January and it is winter. It's a different situation. I repeat, we are talking about players of other teams.”

Conte does still want Llorente for the same reason, because he feels he would suit his system well and also again serve as a mentor figure for compatriot Alvaro Morata. Pochettino remains a huge fan of Llorente, but he hasn't yet shown his best form for Spurs as he continues to adapt to their approach.

Some close to the deal have mooted the possibility of Michy Batshuayi going the other way to smooth the Llorente deal, but it is understood the Belgian would prefer to go somewhere that would guarantee regular football rather than again being a second striker.

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