Chelsea have made Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their latest target in the wake of their failure to signing Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium striker's move to Manchester United has derailed the Blues' summer transfer plans which are threatening to descend into disarray less than five weeks out from the start of the defence of their Premier League title.
Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata and Fernando Llorente of Swansea City have also been considered as possible targets following Lukaku's surprise decision to turn down a return to Stamford Bridge in favour of moving to United. Manager Antonio Conte is understood to be fuming as he seeks to cover off the expected departure of Diego Costa.
Marca understand that Gabon international Aubameyang is the latest forward being targeted by Chelsea as Conte looks to bolster his attacking options. The 28-year-old is regarded as one of the best strikers in Europe and netted 40 goals in all competitions for Dortmund last season.
The ex-Saint-Etienne and Monaco hitman features regularly in the transfer gossip columns having also been heavily linked with a move to Real and Manchester City and Dortmund are braced for another summer of speculation as Chelsea become the latest club to covert the forward. "Auba is here and has trained," coach Peter Bosz said, according to Goal.com. "This is what counts for me. The fact that there will be speculation until the end of August is clear."
A more realistic signing could come in the form of Torino forward Andrea Belotti, who netted 28 times in all competitions last term. Reports have suggested Chelsea are considering signing the Italian having missed out on Lukaku, but his €100m release clause means any deal will come with a healthy price tag.
"He has a €100m release clause," club president Urbano Cairo told Sky Italia, according to Goal.com. "For now no-one has come in for him. I'm glad he's with us and I hope he can stay. I want to understand his intentions, I'm happy for him to stay, not least because we've given up interesting options which didn't reach the €100m clause.
"They weren't real offers, but there were contacts. I don't want to imagine a Toro without Il Gallo. Tonight I'll have a meal with [coach Sinisa] Mihajlovic and [sporting director Gianluca] Petrachi, we'll talk about everything and you understand we also have to think about this possibility.
"The clause is there, but we have to understand what he thinks because it's important for a player to stay with the desire to do well. I want to talk to him, I want a confirmation. I don't think it's possible to sell in Italy, where there isn't even the clause. Andrea is an extraordinary lad, he has undeniable qualities."