Chelsea will abandon their attempts to sign Edin Dzeko unless they can strike a deal before the end of the weekend, according to latest reports.
Antonio Conte is keen to see the club bring in an additional centre forward during the January transfer window and had personally requested the services of AS Roma striker Dzeko, who finished as Serie A's top scorer last season with 29 goals.
Chelsea had hoped to tie up a double deal for both him and teammate Emerson Palmieri, with reports this week suggesting the club were confident of wrapping up a deal worth excess of £45m.
But Roma sporting director Monchi insists the club have still not received an "acceptable" offer for their striker, with Chelsea reluctant to meet their current demands.
The Premier League champions have also encountered problems in talks with the striker. While Emerson has agreed to a four-and-a-half year deal worth £85,000-a-week to make the move to Stamford Bridge, they still do not have an agreement with the former Manchester City striker.
Talks continue, but according to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea are now strongly considering alternative options and have set a deadline for themselves, determined not to see their striker search drag into the final days of the transfer window.
The report adds that if no deal with Roma and Dzeko is in place by the end of the weekend then the Blues will move onto other targets – one of which is Arsenal's Olivier Giroud.
Giroud's own future is uncertain and has been offered to Borussia Dortmund in Arsenal's attempts to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the German side. But with Dortmund growing frustrated with the Gunners' reluctance to meet their asking price, a deal is far from certain.
Stoke City's Peter Crouch and Burnley's Ashley Barnes are two other options Chelsea are considering.
Should the Dzeko deal fall through, the Telegraph add Emerson is still expected to join Conte's side.