Incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has asked club bosses to sign Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain for a fee that could top £42m ($61m) in the summer, as he sets about overhauling the Blues squad.

The Daily Mail reports Higuain, 28, is open to joining the London side despite the lack of Champions League football, but wants assurances of first-team football at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are looking to strengthen their strike force in the summer after an underwhelming league return of 11 goals in 27 games from lead forward Diego Costa this season.

Back-up forwards Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao and Alexandre Pato have all disappointed as well, scoring only one league goal each.

The Daily Mail claims Higuain, who is contracted to Napoli until 2018, would be reluctant to join Chelsea if Costa remains at the club.

The Spain international may leave the club in the summer amid interest from the Chinese Super League and former club Atletico Madrid, according to the paper.

'World's best'

Argentina striker Higuain has enjoyed an excellent season at Napoli, scoring 32 goals in 33 league appearances for the Serie A side. He was hailed as the world's best striker by legendary Italian forward Paolo Rossi last week.

"Higuain is the best striker in the world. There are many great players around the world but this season no one has done anything like him," the 1982 World Cup winner was quoted as saying by Marca.

Antonio Conte
Italy boss Antonio Conte will be officially unveiled as Chelsea manager following the conclusion of Euro 2016 Getty

"We are different players. I was a bit of an opportunist in the six-yard box. It would have been a good combination." Napoli have already secured Champions League football for next season and are second in Serie A, 12 points behind Juventus.

Italy boss Conte, 46, takes over from interim boss Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge following the conclusion of Euro 2016 on 10 July. He won three straight Serie A titles at Juventus between 2011 and 2014 and is set to become the fifth Italian to coach Chelsea.