Chelsea are preparing a £6m bid for Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling. The Metro believes the Bundesliga club have been forced to offer their star striker at a bargain rate because he is desperate to push through a move to the Premier League.
The 29-year-old German international is in excellent form this season and has scored 15 goals (with six assists) from his 22 league appearances. Overall, Kiessling has 17 goals and seven assists from 31 games this campaign. He is presently the leading goal scorer in the German league, with Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic tied for first. Leverkusen are third in the table, a point behind champions Borussia Dortmund and 18 behind Munich, the runaway leaders.
The Blues are expected to pursue the 6'3" centre forward to provide competition to present strikers - Senegalese Demba Ba and Spaniard Fernando Torres. In addition, the Stamford Bridge club also have Belgian youngster Romelu Lukaku, who is presently on loan with English club West Bromwich Albion.
It is unlikely to be smooth sailing to sign Kiessling though. It is believed the German has interested Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev and Leverkusen's domestic rivals, Dortmund. The latter club's need may be pressing should Polish striker Robert Lewandowski complete a rumoured move to Premier League leaders Manchester United in the summer. Meanwhile, the Telegraph believes West Ham are also in the race to sign Kiessling; they were linked with a £10m bid in the January window and could return in the summer.
Meanwhile, the striker's agent, Ali Bulut, has claimed he is aware of interest from the German champions. Kiessling was delighted to be linked with a move to Dortmund but claimed he was enjoying his time with Leverkusen.
"I do not know a thing about it, really, and I am surprised to see myself linked (to Dortmund). This is nothing I am thinking about. Of course, I am honoured if my name is mentioned in such a respect. This should however not cause any unrest. I am fully focused on Bayer Leverkusen, we have important matches ahead of us. I am enjoying my contract with Bayer Leverkusen," Kiessling explained.