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Chelsea are reportedly set to meet Mauro Icardi’s €100 million (£88 million) release clause in January to give them more firepower in the Premier League title race.
According to El Gol Digital (h/t the Daily Star‘s Aaron Stokes), the Blues want to close the nine-point gap with Manchester City, but Antonio Conte is unconvinced by Michy Batshuayi, who remains the club’s only alternative to summer signing Alvaro Morata with Diego Costa exiled until he joins Atletico Madrid in January.
Morata has struck eight times in a largely impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge, but this is his first season leading the line of a team, having been an admittedly excellent back-up at Juventus and Real Madrid.
Icardi is enjoying a superb campaign and has racked up 11 goals and two assists in 12 Serie A outings this season, and he has scored 89 goals in 158 games for the Nerazzurri.
OptaPaolo hailed his consistency in Milan:
4 – Prior to Icardi the last Inter’s player to reach the double figure of league goals in 4 season in a row was Christian Vieri. Consistent.
The 24-year-old’s Inter record is made all the more impressive given the fact they’ve been a shadow of their former selves during his time there, and many of his team-mates aren’t of the required calibre to provide him with the necessary ammunition.
Earlier in the campaign, the Inter captain bagged a hat-trick against archrivals AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina to fire his side to a 3-2 win.
Serie A expert James Horncastle hailed the striker’s predatory finishing:
Football journalist Rafael Hernandez puts Icardi among some esteemed company in ranking the top centre-forwards in world football:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
You can put Benzema, Icardi and Agüero right below them. Cavani and Falcao play in the lower league.
His exploits with Inter certainly suggest he deserves to be in that conversation, and he’s more than earned the chance to prove himself at a higher level.
He’d be a phenomenal asset at Chelsea, and a strike force of himself and Morata—in conjunction with the likes of Eden Hazard—would make for a fearsome lineup.
It would require a significant outlay on top of the £70 million spent on the Spaniard in the summer, though, so splashing out again so soon may be unlikely.