Blues lining up post-transfer ban targets

AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek hopes he can help the club get back to challenging for titles.

Chelsea have been linked with moves to sign AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek and Valencia defender Jose Gaya once their transfer ban is lifted.

Blues’ head coach Frank Lampard took on the role this summer knowing that he would be unable to bring any new signings into Stamford Bridge because of a two-window ban.

It means the Londoners cannot strengthen in January, although the club has launched an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have the embargo lifted by then.

As a result, Chelsea officials have been working hard to identify potential targets to make offers for if they are given the green light in the New Year.

Milan forward Piatek has been attracting interest from the Premier League outfit on the back of his goalscoring exploits in Italy.

The 24-year-old Poland international scored an impressive 19 goals in 21 games for Genoa in the first half of last season after joining from Cracovia in his homeland for a reported fee of €4million in summer 2018.

That prompted Milan to splash out €35m to take him to the San Siro in January – six months after he arrived in Italy for nine times less than that amount.

Piatek was not quit as prolific for the Rossoneri, but still managed a healthy 11 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions.

He is yet to get off the mark this season, but it seems Chelsea would be willing to spend big money to give him an opportunity to play in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, left-back Gaya is another reported target for the Blues as the 24-year-old has impressed in his homeland Spain.

He has made 197 appearances in all competitions for Los Che and is being lined up as a possible replacement for compatriot Marcos Alonso.

The 28-year-old has slipped behind Emerson in Lampard’s pecking order this season and he could be allowed to leave as Atletico Madrid were circling for his signature in the summer.

Chelsea refused to sell at the time because they were unable to bring in cover, but if their transfer ban is lifted and Gaya arrives, it would pave the way for him to depart.