Reports: Chelsea interested in £90,000-a-week Premier League striker this January
What's the rumour?
As per the good folk over at the Telegraph, Chelsea are going to step up their efforts to make a shock move to sign West Ham United's Andy Carroll as a solution to their goalscoring woes - this is, in fact, the first time in Chelsea's history that they have had three straight goalless draws.
Conte, of course, wanted to sign Fernando Llorente as a target man in the summer but the deal was hijacked by Tottenham Hotspur at the last minute and Chelsea's disgruntled boss was left with only Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi as out-and-out strikers in the senior squad.
In case you didn't know
In a move to address this, they are eyeing a stunning move for Andy Carroll - he has started only three games under David Moyes (who appears to prefer the more mobile Marco Arnautovic up top) and costs West Ham £90,000-a-week in wages. These factors, along with a purported loan-exchange deal that would include Michy Batshuayi, may just swing things in Chelsea's favour as per the report.
The heart of the matter
Andy Carroll's chequered injury history, though, could yet put the Blues off - he missed the Hammers' brilliant 4-1 victory at Huddersfield Town with an ankle injury and missed large swathes of the previous couple of seasons due to serious groin and knee injuries.
Conte's apparent mistrust of Batshuayi - with wide forwards Willian and Pedro preferred to the Belgian against ten-man Leicester with the Blues desperate for a goal - combined with Morata's and Eden Hazard's worrying dip in form means they could sign a striker.
He has also made plain his worry about the squad size. Speaking after the Leicester game he said -
"I saw many players tired, but don't forget we played a massive game on Wednesday night against Arsenal and then I decided to pick the same formation after two-and-a-half days, and maybe I made a mistake because many players didn't recover from this effort."
“When you face all competitions, when you are very good to go to the next round, reach the semi-final of one trophy, play the FA Cup competition, to play the League and then the Champions League, I think you must have a big squad to face every game.”
Rumour Rating (Possibility)
We at SK believe that Antonio Conte's desperation to add a striker to his side (so very evident in his quotes) and affinity toward having target man (as his coaching history with Juventus, and Italy, suggests) might just make this rather shocking transfer a distant possibility.
Rating - 4/10
Andy Carroll Andy-Carroll-ing a football is a sight to behold
He'd definitely add a new dimension to the Chelsea squad
As an impact sub, when Chelsea fail to break down teams in the traditional manner, Andy Carroll would be a supremely brilliant choice when they decided to toss it all into the mixer.
If he can stay fit, that is.