Chelsea have identified Liverpool striker Christian Benteke as an alternative should they fail to complete the signing of their first choice target Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium international was at Stamford Bridge for three years and left the west London club and completed a switch to Everton in 2014, a year after joining them on-loan.
According to The Times, Chelsea's new manager Antonio Conte is keen on bringing Lukaku back to the club to bolster his strike force. The Blues' boss is currently on international duty with Italy and will take over the Premier League outfit after the Euro 2016.
Conte has Diego Costa and Loic Remy as the only two strikers in the squad and has set his sights on reducing the burden from the Brazil-born Spain international's shoulders. Costa has been linked with a return to Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are in search of quality striker to bolster their attack.
Lukaku has emerged as a top target for the Italian boss. However, they will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Conte's former club Juventus. In addition to this, Chelsea's ex-manager Jose Mourinho is interested in signing the Belgian striker for his new club Manchester United, reports the Mirror.
The player has already expressed his desire to leave Everton in the summer transfer window. His father admitted that Lukaku is destined to join either United or Bayern Munich as the Merseyside club have slapped a £65m ($94.85m) price tag on him.
Chelsea allowed Lukaku to join Everton for £28m ($40.6m) and the latter club will only do business if interested teams can meet their asking price. The Blues have started looking for alternatives, allowing Mourinho to reunite with his former player at United.
Conte has set his sights on Benteke, who has emerged as an alternative to Lukaku. He was signed by former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers from Aston Villa last summer. The Northern Irishman was replaced by Jurgen Klopp and Benteke has struggled to get regular game time under the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
Benteke is open to leaving Liverpool as he is unhappy with his situation at Anfield. He already admitted to hold talks with Klopp before deciding his future and wants to continue in the Premier League and has rejected lucrative offers from China. Should he move to Stamford Bridge, he could fight with Costa for a place in the starting lineup, if he decides to continue with his current employers.