Chelsea Target Premier League Striker
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Chelsea Target Premier League Striker

11/06/24 16:03

Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran as they continue their search for a striker, according to the Telegraph’s Matt Law.

It had been reported that the Blues initially had an interest in RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko, but with the Slovenian striker set to sign a new deal with the German club, Chelsea have turned their attentions elsewhere.

Duran was also a target for the west-London side during the January transfer window and has four years left on his current Villa deal.

Who is Duran?

The Colombian striker joined Villa in 2022, signing from Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire for a fee of £14 million.

Throughout his first season in Birmingham, Duran struggled to feature regularly, playing only 124 minutes in the Premier League despite regularly appearing for his national team.

Unfortunately for the striker, he has been forced to play second fiddle to England’s Ollie Watkins who became undroppable during 2023/24, contributing to an impressive 40 goals over 53 appearances.

However, last season was much more promising for the 20-year-old who made 37 appearances for the Villains in all competitions and helped them qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time in 41 years. Alongside this, Duran netted eight times, averaging a goal every 137 minutes that he played.

At only 20 years of age, Duran has an abundance of untapped potential that could be unleashed if he is granted more playing time.

He is currently valued at £16.9 million by transfermarkt.co.uk though will likely fetch a fee in the region of triple that if he is to be prized away from Villa Park this summer.

However, Villa are reportedly willing to listen to offers for the striker, especially from Chelsea as they believe it could aid their pursuit of Conor Gallagher.

Who else are Chelsea interested in?

Alongside Duran, Julian Alvarez and Victor Osimhen have also been named as potential targets for the Blues. The Argentine managed 20 goal contributions in the Premier League last season despite not being a guaranteed starter for Manchester City, with Osimhen also netting 15 goals in Serie A despite missing 13 league matches through injury.

A deal for either of the pair looks extremely unlikely for Chelsea though as they find themselves having to be careful with finances to comply with fair play rules.

Former striker Dominic Solanke has also been reported as a potential option for the Blues and is rumoured to have a £65 million release clause in his Bournemouth contract.

Unlike other options at the pinnacle of their career, Duran presents Enzo Maresca’s side with a cheaper and younger alternative whilst still having bags of potential to lead the Chelsea frontline for many years to come.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Freddie Cotton

Writer

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