Chelsea could be set to make a surprise January move for Swansea City’s Fernando Llorente.
Reports in the press claim that Blues boss Antonio Conte wants to sign the Spaniard this month in a move which would allow Michy Batshuayi to go out on loan.
The French forward has failed to impress at Stamford Bridge since joining in the summer, and it appears Conte would prefer Llorente as back-up to Diego Costa.
Conte knows the 6ft 4in striker well, having signed him from Athletic Bilbao while at Juventus in 2013.
Llorente fired in 16 goals in just 32 Serie A games during their one season together in 2013-14, landing the league title in the process.
And following Conte’s departure to take charge of the Italian national side in the summer of 2014, Llorente’s form nosedived in Turin.
Only seven goals came in the following campaign, and the Spanish international was shipped off to Sevilla just 12 months after Conte left.
The cultured forward has managed to score five times in the Premier League for Swansea this season, suggesting he could net plenty more in a stronger squad.
Llorente is only six months into a two-year deal, but it seems unlikely the Welsh outfit will be able to keep hold of their striker should they be relegated into the Championship next season.
It’s not inconceivable that the Swans could sell Llorente during the mid-season window, and secure Batshuayi on loan in return.
The Blues saw their 13-game winning run come to an end at Tottenham in midweek, and will look to bounce back in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend.
Chelsea host Peterborough on Sunday afternoon, and at 1/6, the bookies odds suggest Conte and his men should be cruising into the Fourth Round draw.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing