Chelsea’s transfer interest in surprise targets such as Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll appears to have been explained in a report by the Times.
The Blues are linked by the Times with an interest in both former England internationals, in deals that will hardly have their fans rushing to the club shops to buy their shirts.
Neither player has been at their best in the Premier League for some time now, with Crouch only likely to be a short-term signing due to turning 37 later this month.
Carroll is also a target for Chelsea on loan rather than permanently, though the Times claim his latest injury blow puts any move to Stamford Bridge into serious doubt.
Still, the bizarre interest in such low-profile players is explained by the Times as being due to the club’s doubts over Antonio Conte’s future.
The Italian tactician may not stay on beyond the end of this season, with the Times previously linking Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone as a target for the west Londoners to replace their unsettled head coach.
This would explain Chelsea’s current reluctance to look beyond loans and short-term signings for the club this winter as they don’t anticipate any long-term purchases working with Conte for very long.
Chelsea fans may be justified in feeling hugely disappointed in this sad state of affairs, with their rivals linked with far more high-profile buys this January.