Chelsea have been advised to prioritise completing a deal for Roma forward Edin Dzeko during the final week of the January transfer window as the club seek to sign backup for Alvaro Morata.

The Evening Standard understand the Blues have put together a £44m package to bring both the Bosnia international and Emerson Palmeri to Stamford Bridge.

Finding genuine backup for Morata, who has scored one league goal in his last six appearances, has been Chelsea's main aim of the window, with a host of players linked with filling the berth.

West Ham United target man Andy Carroll, Burnley's Ashley Barnes, Peter Crouch of Stoke City and Leicester City hitman Islam Slimani have all be subject to reported interest from the Premier League champions.

But with Dzeko having now emerged as the primary target – with Chelsea ready to offer the ex-Manchester City man a two-and-a-half year contract worth £101,000-a-week despite him turning 32 in March -Chris Sutton feels the move makes sense.

"Crouch and Carroll are not all-round number nines because they do not offer a threat in behind defences the way Morata does," Sutton told BBC Sport.

"None of the players mentioned are like-for-like for Morata, which is another reason it makes all of this a little bit odd for the likes of Hazard, who create the chances for their strikers.

"Crouch, Carroll and Benteke thrive off crosses when the way Chelsea play, they want their centre-forward to make those little movements in behind the opposition defence.

"If you are Hazard and you get your head up on the half turn, then you don't want a focal point all the time, you want that movement in behind. At the moment Morata gives them that.

"I think Dzeko is the one who offers the most in that respect, so he would be the best option for them."

While Manchester United and City have been scrapping over Alexis Sanchez's signature, Chelsea have been linked with a string of curious names not reflective of their status as a regular in the Champions League or as last term's title winners.

Manager Antonio Conte has been at pains to state that he has no direct influence over Chelsea's transfer strategy which follows the departure of Michael Emenalo as technical director last November.

And Sutton feels that the pursuit of strange targets could be a sign that the Italian's spell in west London is coming to an end.

"I have got to say I am surprised with the names that have been mentioned," the ex-Blackburn Rovers forward added.

"I don't know where the Ashley Barnes story came from but I don't think he even plays regularly for Burnley so why would that help Chelsea? With the greatest respect, he is hardly going to take them to the next level.

He added: "Surely this is not the way for Chelsea to progress, push for league titles and major trophies and really grow as a team.

"It is short-term thinking and that does not suggest Conte will be there long-term.

"If he was, I think Chelsea would be linked with the sort of players they have tried to sign in the past, that Conte wants - the likes of Sanchez, or Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus - not people who are coming to the end of their careers.

"So, at the moment, it is anyone's guess what will happen in the summer, on every level."