Chelsea prioritise striker in January transfer market after turning down battle over Tottenham target

Chelsea have made a new striker their transfer priority in January, with a move for Nice defender Jean Clair-Todibo deemed unlikely.

The Blues sounded out Tottenham target Todibo last month as they weighed up their centre-back options.

But Chelsea have held no formal talks with the 24-year-old France international and a move for a new centre-back is seen as a lower priority this month.

Chelsea, who also explored a move for Sporting CP centre-back Ousmane Diomande, are expecting a quiet January window.

A new forward is their main focus but they are keen to evaluate returning forward players Armando Broja and Christopher Nkunku, who are being slowly reintroduced after knee injuries.

Both Broja and Nkunku are expected to get more action when Nicolas Jackson joins up with the Senegal squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Chelsea hope Christopher Nkunku can satisfy their need for goals (PA)
Chelsea hope Christopher Nkunku can satisfy their need for goals (PA)

Mauricio Pochettino is keen to see how Broja and Nkunku perform in the coming weeks and he is happy with Jackson.

Jackson has faced criticism for his displays this season but senior Chelsea staff believe he has faced added pressure because the team has not scored enough goals.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Brentford’s Ivan Toney are two forward options to have been considered by Chelsea but are both deemed expensive and difficult to sign this month.

After Osimhen renewed his Napoli contract last month, he will not be available for anything less than his £112million release clause.

Brentford are increasingly reluctant to sell Toney amid concern they could be dragged into a relegation battle as they battle an injury crisis.

Chelsea transfer chiefs admire Club Brugge winger Antonio Nusa and the Blues had a £23m summer deadline-day bid rejected for the 18-year-old.

But Nusa is not considered the right profile of player that Chelsea need right now.

Antonio Nusa is liked by Chelsea (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Antonio Nusa is liked by Chelsea (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Interest in Sporting striker Viktor Gyokeres has cooled after he told his Portuguese club that he would stay until the end of the season to help them fight for the title.

Chelsea need to sell players to help fund any transfer business, with Ian Maatsen one player who could leave amid talks with Borussia Dortmund.

Maatsen is in the final 18 months of his contract and has plenty of interest, though few clubs are willing to match the £31.5m bid Chelsea accepted from Burnley in the summer.

Trevoh Chalobah’s hamstring injury is putting clubs off signing him and Conor Gallagher is expected to turn down any move away, given he is stand-in captain in the absence of Reece James.