Antonio Conte has refused to be drawn over Chelsea's ongoing pursuit of a new striker after pointing out that it would be disrespectful to current number nine Alvaro Morata and his back-up Michy Batshuayi.

The Italians boss is on the hunt for a target man in the mould of Fernando Llorente after the Blues were unable to sign the former Juventus striker during the last two transfer windows.

Chelsea first tried and failed to lure the Spaniard away from Swansea in January last year and before making a new approach to get him in the summer, only for Tottenham Hotspur to beat them late on in a deal worth around £12m ($16.6m).

Andy Carroll emerged as a potential candidate to cover that role earlier this month but it has been said that the Blues are now considering other alternatives amid suggestions that the West Ham striker could be out for a least a month due to injury.

The Independent recently said that Llorente himself is once again under consideration with other reports claiming that the Blues have also made enquiries over AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Stoke City's Peter Crouch.

Asked about the interest in the former Manchester City striker, Conte said as quoted by Football.London: "As you know very well, I think it's not right to talk about the players of other teams. I'm not interested in this. There is a transfer market in this season. If there is something, you are the first to know news."

And pressed about the shock approach to sign Crouch, the Chelsea boss insisted: "But my answer is the same. It's the same. I'm not interested in this conversation. Also because it's disrespectful to my players and for the other players, the players of other clubs,"

"As I said before, this period there is a transfer market. If something happens, for sure you'll know about it. You are the first media to know news."

Given the players linked with a move to Chelsea in recent days it looks like Conte is searching for a big target man to give him a plan B to Morata.

Yet, Conte didn't want to discuss either the profile of his potential second signing of the January transfer window.

"But in this moment I can talk about my players, about Morata and about Batshuayi, about their characteristics. It's not right to talk about the characteristics of other players," the Chelsea boss said.

"I always said that I'm happy to work with my players. I'm happy to try and improve my players. Every striker has his own characteristics. Morata has specific characteristics, and Batshuayi other characteristics. I'm happy to work with my players, for sure. I don't want to talk about other players because it's not right."

The Premier League champions have only made one signing this month in the form of Ross Barkley.

Conte has previously voiced his frustration over the lack of depth in his squad but insisted that the arrival of more players will depend on the final say of the Chelsea board.

"I think that I was very clear in the past telling you that the club sometimes asks me my opinion about the transfer market. About our situation. The way we can improve," he said.

"But, at the same time, I said in the past that the final decision is for the club. This is our situation. This is the truth. It's the club who has to spend the money, so it's right to do what they prefer. It's right to talk about the club, generally, rather than one specific person (sanctioning deals). It's right to speak in general about the club."

Edin Dzeko
Dzeko has been linked with Chelsea in recent days. Getty