Chelsea are expected to sell Olivier Giroud during the summer transfer window with a move to AC Milan gaining traction in the past 24 hours.
According to Goal, the veteran French striker looks set to follow Fikayo Tomori to the San Siro in a deal that could eventually be worth up to £2million after a two-and-a-half year stay in west London.
Giroud saw the one-year option in his contract triggered by Chelsea this summer as the club retained some value on the 34-year-old but with options set to be limited under Thomas Tuchel this season, the Frenchman is set to move on.
That would leave just Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner as the senior striker options at the club and confirms what has been known for some time that the Blues are in the market for a new frontman this summer.
Young striker Armando Broja, who enjoyed a very successful loan spell at Vitesse Arnhem last season in Holland, is due to report back for pre-season training at Cobham this week and will be given a chance to impress Tuchel.
The teenager scored 11 goals for one of the Blues’ favoured loan clubs in the Eredivisie last season and also made his full international debut for Albania.
Abraham’s future is also uncertain at the club after struggling badly for gametime under Tuchel since the German arrived at the club in January.
The England striker missed out on a place in the Three Lions squad for the European Championships this summer, didn’t make the matchday squad for the Champions League final victory over Manchester City in May and played only 17 minutes in the Premier League between February and the end of the season through injury and non-selection.
West Ham, Aston Villa and Southampton have all been linked with swoops for Abraham but with Chelsea believing to want in excess of £30million for the striker, clubs might be priced out.
With the Blues set to allow Giroud to depart however, that leaves a squad place up for grabs in the striker department and that will be a key area for Tuchel to strengthen this summer.
It has been quiet so far owing to the Euros still ongoing, which makes it difficult to get deals done. Also, players have been on holiday but will now begin reporting for pre-season training with their clubs.
The Blues have been heavily linked with a blockbuster move for Erling Haaland, but Borussia Dortmund will not sell quietly after agreeing to allow Jadon Sancho to leave the club for Manchester United in a £73million deal.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for former striker Romelu Lukaku, who has said he wants to remain at Inter Milan but with the Nerazzurri’s dire financial straits, could still be tempted to sell having already lost Achraf Hakimi to Paris St Germain.
Harry Kane is also on Chelsea’s shortlist of strikers they want to sign this summer but a deal for the Tottenham striker looks one of the least likely moves to make owing to Daniel Levy’s severe reluctance to sell his star striker.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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Factor in that the buying club would be Chelsea, that makes it even less likely.
The club has high hopes for Broja, who joined Chelsea as an under-9 and has made his way through the ranks at Cobham to eventually make his first team debut against Everton in 2020, when he replaced Giroud in the 86th minute at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
But Tuchel will still want that prolific striker that can fire Chelsea to a Premier League title and de-throne Manchester City at the summit of the English game.
It looks set to be a saga that will drag on, especially with the Blues heading off to Ireland for a pre-season training camp in the coming weeks to begin their pre-season campaign.