Chelsea are likely to be in the market for a new striker in the summer transfer window, with Thomas Tuchel’s current options failing to paint a strong picture of the immediate future at Stamford Bridge. Veteran forward Olivier Giroud is entering the twilight of his career at 34 years of age, while Tammy Abraham has struggled to hold down a spot in the side since Tuchel’s arrival at the end of January.
Timo Werner was signed from RB Leipzig during pre-season but has mostly been deployed in a supporting role behind the centre-forward, with Kai Havertz featuring at the tip of Chelsea’s attacking trident in recent weeks.
However, the former Bayer Leverkusen man is not an out-and-out striker, suggesting that the Blues will be aiming to secure a top-class marksman ahead of next season.
Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been prominently linked with a move to west London, but the Bundesliga outfit have reportedly slapped an eye-watering £154million price tag on their star man, meaning that any interested club could face difficulty in tabling an appropriate bid as a result of the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives out there that could provide an effective solution for Chelsea’s lack of goal threat.
The Blues could decide to revisit Inter Milan star Romelu Lukaku, who was sold by Jose Mourinho in 2014 after failing to break into the side under the decorated Portuguese boss.
The 27-year-old has flourished for the San Siro club this season, scoring 25 goals from 34 appearances in all competitions in a clear display of the star quality that he can bring to Chelsea if they are able to convince him to return.
He revealed on Twitter last month that he retains a soft spot for his former employers, suggesting that he could be open to a move back to Stamford Bridge, but whether Inter will consider letting him go is another matter.
If Chelsea are unsuccessful in pursuing Lukaku, they could turn to Everton‘s Dominic Calvert-Lewin in order to address their problems at the top of the pitch.
The former Sheffield United man has established himself as one of the Premier League‘s best poachers this season, showing that he knows all too well where the back of the net is with an average return of a goal every other game.
At 24 years of age, there is plenty of room for improvement which suggests that he could be a long-term solution rather than a quick fix for Tuchel’s side.
Like Inter, Everton will be reluctant to allow their star man to leave unless a significant bid is tabled, but would be unlikely to command anywhere near the £154m quoted for Haaland.
A cheaper option could come in the form of reported Manchester United target Andre Silva, who is currently plying his trade in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt.
He is the division’s joint-second top scorer alongside Haaland and behind only Robert Lewandowski, and could be available for a cut-price fee in the summer.
The 25-year-old is valued at just £33m by Transfermarkt, hinting that Frankfurt could be persuaded to part ways for significantly less than it would take to land Lukaku or Calvert-Lewin.
However, with United also in the hunt for a centre-forward amid the expected post-season departure of Edinson Cavani, Chelsea would be in line to face a battle for his signature.
It remains to be seen whether the Blues will put all their eggs in one basket with the signing of Haaland, or decide against pursuing the Dortmund talisman in order to strengthen in other areas.
They were the biggest spenders in the Premier League last summer, shelling out a total of £222m in transfer fees, but could put their money to better use this time around by ending their interest in the Norway international and chasing a cost-effective solution with the potential to blossom into a world-class player under Tuchel’s guidance.