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Chelsea Won’t Panic Over Striker Search


Mauricio Pochettino was confirmed as the new manager of Chelsea on Monday, signing a two-year contract with the option for an additional year. His biggest task this summer is to trim a massively bloated squad that has no European football next season, with a horde of fringe players set to leave. Pochettino is also looking to bring in a few key additions, with a goalkeeper, midfielder and striker his priorities. Chelsea have already been linked with Inter shot-stopper Andre Onana and Brentford’s David Raya for the goalkeeper position, while Sporting defensive midfielder Manuel Ugarte is emerging as the club’s top target to partner Enzo Fernandez.

Finding a new striker is a little more challenging, though Pochettino is thought to be keen on compatriot Lautaro Martinez as well as Napoli top scorer Victor Osimhen. If these duo prove too costly, however, Chelsea are willing to trust in the options already at the club and believe Christopher Nkunku is capable of leading the line if required. The Frenchman has a long-standing agreement to move to Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig, and has tied Werder Bremen’s Niclas Fullkrug for the Bundesliga golden boot this season, netting 16 times despite injury limiting him to just 20 starts. Nkunku also netted 20 Bundesliga goals last season, as well as laying on 13 assists, and Chelsea are hoping his arrival will go a long way to improving their clinicalness in front of goal.

Pochettino also has a decision to make over Romelu Lukaku when the Belgian returns from his loan at Inter and the forward could be welcomed back into the fold to provide another attacking option. Chelsea have yet to officially announce Nkunku’s looming arrival, but a deal has been in place since the end of last year with the Blues agreeing to pay a fee of around £52million to secure the Frenchman’s services.

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