Chelsea are preparing a swoop for Southampton striker Graziano Pelle should they fail to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. The 30-year-old has only a year left in his current contract and has no plans to sign an extension with the Saints.
The Daily Mail reports that Pelle has been made available by the Saints for a fee in the range of £16m ($21m) but Chelsea are planning a bid more in the line of £12m ($16m), with new manager Antonio Conte impressed by his performance for the Italian national side. The Chinese Super League are also interested in signing the striker but are yet to make their interest official in the form of a bid.
Pelle has scored two goals in four starts in the Euros thus far for Italy, before crashing out to Germany on penalties. In the league, he has scored 11 goals and assisted six in 23 starts for the Saints, an impressive return for a player whose season has been marred by injuries.
The Blues consider Pelle a good bargain in the current market and are willing to offer him a one-year contract with the option of an extension. Chelsea still have Morata as their prime option up front and are set to have crunch talks with Real Madrid, who exercised their buy-back option on the player after having sold him to Juventus in 2014.
Conte needs to strengthen up front, having allowed Alexander Pato and Radamel Falcao to leave after refusing to extend their loan contract. Diego Costa is being scouted by Atletico Madrid for a return to the La Liga but recent reports suggest that the player is desperate to continue his association at Stamford Bridge.
Conte is set to play a 3-5-2 formation next season and has already signed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for a fee in the range of £33m ($43m). On the defensive front, they are set to conclude a deal for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, having beaten Arsenal to his signature.
Meanwhile, Everton have emerged as surprise contenders to prise the striker away from Southampton, with Ronald Koeman ready to reunite with the striker when he takes over at Goodison Park, according to the Daily Mail. The Toffees have a fight on their hands to keep Romelu Lukaku at the club, with the Belgian having voiced his desire to move to a club in the Champions League at the earliest.