No Costa? No problem for Chelsea, who may have replacement lined up

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If you’d have told us a week ago that Chelsea would be on the hunt for a top striker this month following the seemingly imminent departure of Diego Costa, we’d have suggested you seriously considered where you get your information from.

Good job that situation didn’t arise then really, because this is a position Antonio Conte’s Blues now find themselves in.

Despite having already netted 14 Premier League goals this term for a side that look to be running away with the Premier League title, the 28-year-old Spaniard looks set to be the latest big name to be tempted by a move to China.

But while that news sent Twitter into meltdown over the weekend, Costa’s potential replacement could well have the same impact on social media should a move go ahead before the transfer window slams shut.

Step forward Andrea Belotti.

The Torino forward has already been linked with a move to the Premier League this month, with Arsenal reportedly keen on adding the 23-year-old to their ranks.

In fact, the Turin outfit’s sporting director, Gianluca Petrachi, claimed the club had rejected a £56m offer from the Gunners.

While it’s unlikely Arsene Wenger will return with an increased bid, we could instead see Chelsea make a move.

With Roman Abramovich’s financial muscles, Chelsea have hardly struggled to attract huge players in the past.

But a potential Costa exit, coupled with the £52m the Blues received for Oscar earlier this month, would mean that the Russian owner could more than afford Belotti without dipping into his own transfer budget.

The 23-year-old forward last night proved once again why he’s one of the most sought after talents on the continent, scoring his 14th goal of the season.

That means only four players in Europe’s top five leagues have netted more than the former Palermo man.

While Conte currently has Michy Batshuayi as back-up to Costa, it’s thought the Belgium international will be heading for an early Stamford Bridge exit, having played just 88 minutes of top-flight football this season.

And although the Blues have been heavily linked with a move for Swansea City’s Fernando Llorente, there’s no doubting Belotti’s arrival would be much more beneficial to the west London outfit in the long run.

So what do fans think? Should Chelsea cash in on Costa and invest the money elsewhere?

Have your say in the comments section below!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.