Conte has already missed out on Romelu Lukaku and must sign a striker with the future of Diego Costa uncertain
CHELSEA legend Gianfranco Zola has urged his former club to land Torino striker Andrea Belotti instead of Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.
Blues boss Antonio Conte earmarked Romelu Lukaku as his top target this summer, but the champions were gazumped by Manchester United for the Everton hitman and now are in need of an alternative.
Morata now looks top of Conte’s wanted list and is looking to conclude a deal for the Spanish international before they fly off to China next week.
The Blues are in need of additional firepower to defend their title with the future of Diego Costa still not resolved.
However, Zola who spent seven years at Chelsea insists Morata is not the man for Chelsea and they should turn their attention to the Torino star.
The 23-year-old Italian international bagged four goals in nine games for his country and was another forward linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.
Belotti was outstanding last term hitting 26 goals in Serie A last term and Zola is adamant he has what it takes to make a huge impact in West London.
Zola told talKSPORT: “To be honest, I was thinking Chelsea should go for Andrea Belotti in Italy.
“I thought that considering the type of qualities Costa has, that Belotti was the perfect fit.
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
“Morata is a little bit different, he’s more of a finesse player. He hasn’t got the presence of a player like Costa in the box. He’s a different player, he brings other qualities.
Zola added: “Costa was very influential last season, he’s a type of player who fits with the style of football Chelsea, and that (finding a like-for-like replacement) will be the key for Chelsea.”
The Torino hierarchy are resigned to losing their prize asset sooner or later, but club president Urbano Cairo has revealed nobody has so far made an offer for their main man.
Any suitors outside of Italy will have to stump up the striker’s full £88million release clause for overseas clubs to have any chance of signing him this summer.
Cairo said: “I chose the clause to be €100m (£88m) abroad remember because it is very high and for the moment no one has come in for him, I’m glad he is with us and hop he stays.
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