Chelsea set their sights on long-term attacking target after missing out on Benjamin Sesko: Reports

RB Leipzig v Real Madrid CF: Round of 16 First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Benjamin Sesko has decided to stay at RB Leipzig.

Chelsea have reportedly stepped up their interest in Aston Villa striker Jhon Duran after Benjamin Sesko opted to stay at RB Leipzig. The Blues were interested in the Slovenian forward, but he signed a new deal with the Bundesliga outfit.

The Telegraph reports that Duran has re-emerged as a target for the west Londoners. The Colombian frontman was on their radar last summer but remained at Villa Park.

Duran, 20, enjoyed a fruitful 2023-24 campaign, posting eight goals in 37 games across competitions. He's behind Ollie Watkins in Unai Emery's pecking order, which helps Chelsea's pursuit.

The nine-cap Colombia international could be the most attainable striker on their wishlist. They have a good relationship with Villa, who could sign Conor Gallagher, whose future is still uncertain.

Duran's social media activity has hinted at his desire to head to Stamford Bridge. He's liked several posts related to the Blues, which has fans concluding he wants to make the move.

Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke is another option after missing out on Sesko. The English striker has a £65 million release clause, which means he'll likely be far pricier than Villa's young Colombian.

Duran joined the Villains from MLS side Chicago Fire in January 2023 in an £18 million deal. He has four years left on his contract with the east Midlands outfit. He's an explosive attacker who has shown his goalscoring prowess, especially with an impressive three-minute brace in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool (May 13).

"You dream of playing there" - Jhon Duran fuelled talk of a potential Chelsea move

Jhon Duran dreams of joining the Blues.
Jhon Duran dreams of joining the Blues.

Duran admitted it would be a dream to join a club of Chelsea's stature amid speculation over his future. He spoke in January when the Blues and Serie A giants AC Milan were linked with his signature (via Football Italia):

"I am not aware of interests in Milan or Chelsea. They are giant clubs, but I have no knowledge of anything. As a child, you dream of playing there."

Milan are unlikely to be in the race for Duran as they are reportedly focused on Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee. This gives Enzo Maresca a free run at the Colombian, who appears eager to arrive at Stamford Bridge.

Duran would provide competition for Nicolas Jackson, who enjoyed a fine debut season. His fellow countryman arrived from Villarreal last summer and posted 17 goals and six assists in 44 games across competitions.

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