CHELSEA’S finishing came back to haunt them in last night’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid.
The Blues crashed out of Europe after failing to score one single goal against the defending champions.
The 4-0 aggregate scoreline was compounded by a series of fluffed opportunities in the return leg at Stamford Bridge.
The likes of Marc Cucurella and N’Golo Kante spurned glorious chances to give Chelsea a lifeline.
And a new striker has to be top of Todd Boehly’s shopping list this summer.
Despite his £600million spend, Chelsea’s top scorer this season is No10 Kai Havertz with just nine goals.
READ MORE ON CHELSEA
Champions League: Bet £5 on football and get £20 in free bets with Ladbrokes
Chelsea could CHANGE NAME if they move stadium due to little-known rule
The two out-and-out strikers in the squad, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Armando Broja, boast just four goals between them.
And even Romelu Lukaku’s underwhelming haul of 15 last term is now looking good.
Christopher Nkunku, scorer of 17 goals this season and 35 last year, is already on his way to west London.
And there could yet be a permanent move for Joao Felix, despite only scoring twice since his January loan from Atletico Madrid.
Most read in Football
Leyton Orient promoted in the DARK as lights go out but results go their way
Chelsea fans wish Cole was starting as legend shows passion while coaching
Fans spot major blunder before Chelsea vs Real as Blues make ANOTHER gaffe
Steven Gerrard linked with shock return to management at Champions League club
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST SPORTS BETTING APPS IN THE UK
But in terms of a proper No9, just who can Chelsea go for when the transfer window opens?
Here, SunSport's Anthony Chapman looks at seven options for the Blues…
HARRY KANE — TOTTENHAM
THE England captain, 29, looks certain to leave his boyhood club this summer.
Spurs failed to deliver the silverware promised under Antonio Conte.
And despite their position in the table, they are almost in as much turmoil as Chelsea — but without the promise of better days ahead.
Kane is a proven goalscorer, netting 273 times for Spurs with a further 55 goals for his country.
A move to Stamford Bridge would be highly controversial given the rivalry between Tottenham and Chelsea.
But with Kane’s contract expiring in 2024, a mega-money offer from Boehly could turn Levy’s head and provide him with ammunition to rebuild Spurs’ squad for their new manager.
VICTOR OSIMHEN — NAPOLI
THE Nigerian, 24, is possibly the most sought-after player in world football this summer.
Osimhen has netted 26 goals in a stellar season for Napoli.
And he is certain to lead the Italians to their first Serie A title since 1990.
Osimhen has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League.
Indeed, his idol is none other than Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.
Osimhen’s sleek combination of power and pace could work wonders with Chelsea’s creative players, who make plenty of chances but have nobody in the box to put them away.
Osimhen is sure to come with a hefty price-tag this summer.
But with Boehly willing to spend big on the right player, and Osimhen thought to not be concerned by a lack of Champions League football for one year, this transfer could be the most likely one on the list.
IVAN TONEY — BRENTFORD
THE newly-capped Three Lions star has enjoyed a stellar rise up the ranks throughout his career.
Toney, 27, spent seven years plying his trade in League One before Brentford took him to the Championship and then the Premier League.
He has 66 goals in less than three years for the Bees, including 19 this term.
And Toney has the physical and technical hallmarks of a classic Chelsea No9.
The one thing going against the ace is a potential upcoming ban for betting.
But Toney has proven his class in the top flight time and again.
And with Brentford always ready to negotiate for the right price, he could come easier than other names at bigger clubs.
MARCUS THURAM — EINTRACHT FRANKFURT
SON of France legend Lillian, Thuram has found his feet this season with 16 goals for Frankfurt.
Capable of playing as a striker or winger, he has also become an integral part of France’s national squad.
Thuram, 25, has improved his composure with each passing season.
And the best news is that he will be available for absolutely nothing after deciding to quit Frankfurt on a free transfer when his contract expires in June.
But Chelsea will have to move fast if they want to secure Thuram’s signature.
That’s because Man United, Tottenham, Newcastle, Juventus and Inter Milan are all plotting to offer him a deal.
And Chelsea may have go over-the-odds with wages as they will not be able to offer Thuram any European football.
RANDAL KOLO MUANI — EINTRACHT FRANKFURT
ANOTHER Frankfurt forward who has shined this season.
Muani, 24, has established himself as a top forward in Europe with 20 goals in his first season with the Germans.
Like Thuram, he too has become a regular in Didier Deschamps’ France side.
And he is now thought to be a top target for Bayern Munich as Thomas Tuchel looks for a striker.
Kolo Muani would certainly fit in well at Chelsea after developing an all-roundness to his game.
However, Man Utd have made enquiries into his availability at the behest of Erik ten Hag.
And incredible reports last month claimed the Red Devils are ready to pay an eye-watering £105m fee.
Those are the kinds of numbers Boehly would be expecting to deal with regarding someone like Kane or Osimhen.
And it could be just too much to take, even for the splurge-happy American.
OLLIE WATKINS — ASTON VILLA
The former Brentford man, 27, has been on fire since the return of football after the World Cup.
Watkins has struck 14 times in the league alone for Villa.
And after moving to a central role, he has helped Unai Emery’s men storm the table into a European spot.
Watkins hit 14 goals in his first season for Villa too.
And Brentford fans have not forgotten his plunder of 25 strikes when they narrowly missed out on promotion in 2020.
Despite not being the biggest name around, Watkins could be exactly what Chelsea need up top — hard graft, a strong mentality and an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.
But Villa will be loathe to let him go, and having paid £33million themselves could demand an over-the-top fee.
FOLARIN BALOGUN — ARSENAL
STRANGER things have happened in football.
But this one cannot be ruled out for several reasons.
Balogun, 21, has taken Ligue 1 by storm with 18 goals for loan side Reims.
He’s been putting the likes of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe to shame all season.
But despite impressing, Balogun is not guaranteed a spot in Arsenal’s squad next season — let alone the starting XI.
Mikel Arteta already boasts numerous players up front and may struggle to find room for Balogun.
The youngster does not want to be loaned out again though.
And that could open the door for Chelsea to make an offer Arsenal cannot refuse.
Read More on The Sun
Sky users are realising there’s a free, easy way to keep getting TV during outages
The 7 things your HAIR can reveal about your health – and when to see a doctor
It doesn’t hurt that Balogun is from across the pond either, despite having 13 caps for England’s U21s.
And especially if Christian Pulisic is sold, Boehly could jump at the chance to have another fellow American in his side.
Source: Read Full Article