Chelsea must pay £88m for Belotti as Aubameyang drops hint

With Diego Costa set to quit Stamford Bridge, the Blues are urgently hunting a replacement

Andrea Belotti
(Image credit: Valerio Pennincino/Getty)

Chelsea are ready to splash the cash for Torino striker Andrea Belotti.

The Blues urgently need to replace Diego Costa, who seems destined to leave Stamford Bridge after falling out with boss Antonio Conte, but will have to meet Napoli's mammoth valuation to land the 23-year-old hot-shot.

Belotti bagged 28 goals in all competitions last season for the Serie A club and has an £88m release clause in his contract, says Metro, citing Italian rag La Stampa as its source.

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Conte has apparently told Chelsea chiefs that Belotti is his number one choice to replace Costa after missing out on Romelu Lukaku, who officially joined Manchester United for £75m this week.

Torino, it seems, are preparing for Belotti's departure and are lining up Duvan Zapata, from Napoli, as his replacement.

Club president Urbano Cairo admits there has been interest in his star forward but says he will not leave unless the clause is activated. But there was some good news for Chelsea as he made it clear he would not sell to a Serie A rival.

Cairo said: "I want to understand his intentions, I'm happy for him to stay, not least because we've given up interesting options which didn't reach the €100m clause.

"I want to talk to him, I want a confirmation. I don't think it's possible to sell in Italy, where there isn't even the clause. Andrea is an extraordinary lad, he has undeniable qualities.”

Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has posted an intriguing Instagram message that has got Chelsea fans dreaming.

The Borussia Dortmund striker is available at around £60m and Chelsea are one of several clubs believed to be interested in signing the Gabon international.

And could Aubameyang have hinted at his destination when he posted a picture of himself boarding a jet yesterday with the hashtag #moodoftheday? He was dressed all in blue, the Chelsea colours, and it certainly got fans at Stamford Bridge excited, says Metro.

The 28-year-old bagged 31 goals last season to win the Bundesliga golden boot award.

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