Chelsea, it seems, are still no nearer to deciding which striker – or strikers – they will partner Diego Costa with in next season’s squad. As we’ve seen, names like Mauro Icardi, Emmanuel Emmenike and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been mentioned in connection with the club. And we are still no nearer knowing what the future holds for Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.
Aubameyang, at least, now appears to have dropped out of the running. Despite fresh rumours in the British press today, his father has said that the Gabonese striker will not be leaving Borussia Dortmund.
Pierre Aubameyang said : “There is no truth in those rumours. My son will carry on at Borussia Dortmund. He likes it at the club and the club did a lot to help him settle. No one from Dortmund has told us that they are out to sell my son – much to the opposite.”
That seems fairly definite. So who else could be considered a possible target? QPR’s Loic Remy was once suggested as a candidate, but his name appears to have fallen out of favour. So maybe it’s time to throw another contender back into the ring – Swansea’s Wilfried Bony.
Bony had a very good World Cup for Ivory Coast. He scored twice and cannot be blamed for his country’s unfortunate early exit. It came off the back of an excellent season for his club – scoring 25 goals in his first year in the Premier League. His scoring record the season before, for the Dutch side Vitesse, was even more outstanding – 37 goals at more than a goal a game, admittedly in the Eredivisie which is not known for its world-class defending. He is fast, strong, skilful on the ball, and well used to playing up front by himself. If needed he can perform that role, or indeed play alongside a striker like Costa.
It’s unlikely Bony will still be at Swansea by the end of August. He’s understandably after a move to a club playing in the Champions League, and has apparently described a transfer to Chelsea as “a dream”. The Welsh club have signed the French striker Bafetimbi Gomis, presumably as a straight replacement for Bony, and of course they still have the Spaniard Michu.
Bony is a far better striker than the other players Chelsea have been linked with in recent days. And he has already settled comfortably into life in the Premier League. Whether the club could secure him for the money they appear to have available for a second striker – roughly somewhere between £15 million and £20 million – is debatable. But surely the Blues could throw in Ba to make up the difference.
One word of caution, however – one newspaper report this week suggested Chelsea might be returning to a former transfer target. The report claimed that Chelsea were prepared to make a colossal bid for Wayne Rooney, whom they would play behind Costa in a front two. This would seem unlikely given the way the club got their fingers burnt over the England centre-forward last summer. But football is a strange game, and Mourinho apparently remains a fan of Rooney.