Chelsea have reportedly agreed personal terms with Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson and identified other alternatives to Moises Caicedo.
New Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino reportedly identified Senegal international Jackson as a solution to the club’s striking issues.
Chelsea relied on Kai Havertz in attack for much of last campaign but the German struggled in front of goal and is now being linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
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With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to leave after a disastrous spell in London and Chelsea keen to sell Romelu Lukaku, Pochettino has made signing a new striker the major priority for his first transfer window in charge.
The West London side have been linked with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen but Jackson, who has a €35m (£29.8m) release clause – is a cheaper option.
According to The Athletic, Jackson has personal terms with Chelsea and is now waiting for the club to complete the deal with Villarreal.
The 21-year-old scored 12 goals in 26 La Liga games last season and has two caps for Senegal, making his international debut at the World Cup.
Chelsea also want to sign a new midfielder this summer but could miss out on Declan Rice, who is the subject of an £80m offer from Arsenal.
Given Rice’s links to Arsenal, Chelsea have been focusing on a deal for Moises Caicedo and The Athletic claim a £60m bid was rejected by Brighton two weeks ago.
Chelsea are considering making an improved offer for Ecuador international Caicedo but have also identified a number of alternatives to the 21-year-old, including Romeo Lavia, Manu Kone, Sandro Tonali and Barella.
Pochettino will hope to see a new midfielder arrive at the club as N’Golo Kante and Kovacic close in on summer moves.
Kante is set for a big money switch to Saudi Arabia while Kovacic is expected to sign for Premier League champions Manchester City.
Former Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham head coach Pochettino is taking over a Chelsea team who finished just 12th in the Premier League last campaign, closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League places.