Chelsea want Fernando Llorente as back up for Diego Costa
Swansea City’s Basque striker played under Blues boss Antonio Conte at Juventus
Chelsea are keen on signing Swansea City’s striker Fernando Llorente as back-up for Diego Costa. Photograph: Reuters/Martin Kelly
Chelsea are hoping to sign the Swansea striker Fernando Llorente in January. The Spaniard played for Antonio Conte at Juventus during the 2013-14 season and the Chelsea manager sees the striker as the ideal replacement for Diego Costa should he be injured or suspended.
Chelsea are interested in securing him on loan or on a permanent basis but are aware that they face a struggle to convince Swansea to part company with a striker who has scored six goals this season.
The 31-year-old Llorente joined Swansea from Sevilla last summer and the Welsh club’s new manager, Paul Clement, only has Borja Bastón – the club record signing who has scored only once in 12 games – and the 20-year-old Oliver McBurnie to lead the line and is highly unlikely to sanction a sale or a loan deal for Llorente unless another striker is signed.
Conte has Michy Batshuayi, who cost Chelsea £33.2m in the summer, available but has used him sparingly and, indeed, left him on the bench when Costa was suspended for the game against Bournemouth on Boxing Day, to play Eden Hazard up front. Chelsea won the game 3-0.
It is understood Chelsea would consider loaning out Batshuayi if they manage to sign Llorente.