Negredo not Ba should be Chelsea's immediate target

Chelsea need a striker to ease the pressure on Fernando Torres, and Alvaro Negredo should be their top target.

Fernando Torres may turn it around under Rafa Benitez, but he may also not. He certainly isn't the sure thing he once was, and he definitely can't do it all on his own.

Right now, with Sturridge off and Lukaku on loan, Torres is Chelsea's only senior striker, and they will certainly look to bring in new faces this January - The question is who?

The dream target is obviously Falcao - 17 goals in 16 La Liga games is a testament to his prolific form, but he will cost a whopping £48 million. There is no guarantee the player wants to come either, not mid-season anyway with Atletico Madrid second in the league, so Chelsea are wisely considering their options.

Demba Ba has emerged as a key figure this January, and negotiations between Chelsea and he have already begun. The Newcastle striker is one of the league's more consistent strikers, and on the face of it - his £7 million release clause makes him a perfect acquisition.

However talks have stalled because of 'excessive' demands coming from Ba's representatives. It is claimed the striker's agents want around £5 million on top of Ba's fee.

Coupled with Ba's history of knee trouble, Chelsea would be advised to look elsewhere again - And the perfect solution has cropped up: Alvaro Negredo.

His owners Sevilla are in dire financial trouble, and need to sell to raise funds. The club owe millions in tax money, which is not being helped by their poor performance on the pitch, making the outlook for next season equally dismal. Selling star man Negredo is seen as the best move for the club, difficult as it may be.

Rated at around £14 million, Chelsea have already been credited with interest. At 27 the striker is just one year older than Falcao and has plenty to give, and will be keen on a move to Chelsea to boost his chances of winning medals, something he has found tough to come by at Sevilla.

Rafa Benitez' knowledge of the Spanish market will give Chelsea an edge in this deal, and Negredo could be an ideal strike partner to Torres. Having another compatriot around the £50 million man certainly won't help.

Negredo has a one in two record for the Spanish international team and 10 goals in all competitions this season. He hit 15 last season and 28 the year before, the best of his career.

A move to Chelsea would be a great deal all round, with the player needing a step up to prove himself even further and enhance his international prospects - just 12 caps to date, Sevilla needing to sell and a value price, forget Demba Ba, Negredo should be priority for the Blues - and with a bit of luck a deal could be tied up very quickly.

images: © eslee82, © ajenks

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