Italian hitman has been strongly linked with a transfer away from Serie A side Torino.
CHELSEA took heart from Torino’s new kit launch…there was no sign of Andrea Belotti in the photo shoot.
But their hopes of signing the 23-year-old forward might take a backward step – with rumours he wants to join AC Milan.
According to Calciomercato, Belotti has been swayed by Milan’s ambitious project which has seen them make eight new signings this summer.
It leaves Chelsea boss Antonio Conte with problems up front less than a month before the Blues start the defence of their Premier League title against take on Burnley.
For Diego Costa has been told to find a new club, Dom Solanke has joined Liverpool and Tammy Abraham has gone to Swansea.
That means Michy Batshuayi, who struggled to get game time until the final knockings of last season, is Conte’s only recognised striker.
So when Belotti was missing from the Torino kit launch it seemed Chelsea might have been in with a chance of buying the Italian international.
But not so. And the player who scored 26 goals and made seven assists for a side that finished ninth in Serie A looks as though he’s staying in Italy.
Leonardo Bonucci, who arrivedat Milan from Juventus and will skipper the side, is believed to be pushing Belotti – his son’s favourite player – to join him.
The Rossoneri have already offered a player-plus-cash deal amounting to £35million as well as Torino targets Gabriel Paletta and M’Baye Niang.
Andrea Belotti factfile
- Born December 20, 1993, in the small town of Calcinate in the northern province of Lombardy
- Earned his nickname Il Gallo (The Rooster) from a childhood friend who suggested he mimicked a rooster’s comb on his forehead
- After an unsuccessful trial with Atalanta, joined AlbinoLeffe as a 13-year-old, eventually making his first-team debut in Serie B in 2011
- Moved on loan to Palermo in 2013, providing an assist to former Rangers and Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty on his debut – helped Palermo to promotion in his first season but struggled for matches the next year
- Torino spent around £6m on him in August 2015. He scored 12 Serie A goals in his first season before his stunning 28-goal campaign last year
- Scored a seven minute hat-trick in January and also became the first player under 24 since Andriy Shevchenko in 2000 to score at least 24 Serie A goals
- Has been capped at U19, U20, U21 and senior level for Italy
Torino would happily take both players off Milan’s hands, but want more cash.
Belotti has a £87m release clause but that is only valid for clubs outside of Serie A.
Chelsea, incidentally, have been unwilling to meet that price tag.
Milan have been busy this summer, signing the likes of Bonucci, Andre Silva, Hakan Calhanoglu, Mateo Musacchio and Ricardo Rodriguez.
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog
They also agreed a lucrative new contract extension with Gianluigi Donnarumma.