According to The Sun, Southampton’s Graziano Pelle has emerged as a shock transfer target for Chelsea.
The report claims that incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is a big fan of his fellow Italian and will consider making a tempting £8 million offer for the striker during the summer.
Pelle has been in and out of the Southampton team this season, making 23 Premier League starts and contributing with an impressive 10 goals and a further five assists.
The 30-year-old forward is still without doubt an asset to the Saints, yet in recent matches the form of Shane Long up front has limited him to a somewhat minor role coming off the substitutes' bench.
Chelsea have endured a terrible campaign by their standards, and now they will be looking forward to the end of the season and starting afresh under incoming Italian boss Conte.
The former Juventus man has no experience of the Premier League, yet his exploits in Serie A have seemingly impressed the Chelsea hierarchy and they made no secret of their desire to appoint him.
Conte has a big job ahead of him at Stamford Bridge, and one of those is strengthening the attack with Radamel Falcao and Alexandre Pato both only on loan and expected to leave this summer.
Pelle could be deemed an ideal alternative to Diego Costa, and Southampton may be tempted to cash in on the striker considering his contract at St. Mary’s expires the following summer.
Conte has included the Saints striker in his Italy squad a number of times over the past two years, handing him 11 caps in total including appearances in the latest international friendlies in March.