Chelsea given new striker transfer reality as painful decision made in Enzo Maresca blow

Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: George Wood/Getty Images)

Chelsea are reportedly out of the race to sign Serhou Guirassy despite reports that the striker is looking to leave Stuttgart this summer.

It is claimed that Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan are all in contention to sign the Senegal international who scored an impressive 30 goals across all competitions last season.

Guirassy's performances have played a key role in Stuttgart finishing second in the Bundesliga and securing a place in next season's Champions League. It's a remarkable rise after being in relegation trouble the previous season.

It's why a proven goalscorer is likely to be the most sought-after position this summer. A quality frontman would have probably made the difference in the Premier League title race last season, with the Gunners finishing just two points off champions Manchester City.

And it's why Stuttgart's phenomenal campaign with Guirassy leading the line would have given Chelsea some hope. While the 28-year-old may not have made Enzo Maresca's team title contenders, a return to the Champions League would have been realistic. It still could be, but the options are limited.

Napoli's Victor Osimhen has also been previously mentioned, but his huge £112million release clause is likely to put a lot of clubs off, particularly when considering the Premier League's PSR rules. Benjamin Sesko was linked but is now staying at RB Leipzig.

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Chelsea's absence from the Champions League is also likely to hurt them. It will be at least two seasons since they played in Europe's elite competition and they cannot promise a return anytime soon.

Finances will go a long way to convincing a player as well as the carrot of playing in arguably the world's best league. But Champions League football still carries a lot of weight, particularly when clubs like London rivals Arsenal are playing in both.

Perhaps Chelsea will have to take a leaf out of Arsenal's book and be patient with a manager while signing a striker with potential rather than a ready-made goalscorer. The risk to that, however, is them signing a Nicolas Jackson-type figure who looks completely out of their depth.

Whatever Chelsea do this summer though, they are likely to find that signing a striker will be their biggest challenge.