Brennan Johnson during the Premier League match between Brentford and Nottingham Forest at Gtech Community Stadium, London, April 2023.

5 forwards Chelsea can target after missing out on Michael Olise

Chelsea have been extremely busy in the transfer market, but Todd Boehly clearly feels there’s more work to be done – as their failed pursuit of Michael Olise has proven.

After the signings of Moises Caicedo, Axel Disasi, Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu, Angelo Gabriel, Robert Sanchez and Diego Moreira, Chelsea activated Olise’s release clause which was thought to be £35million.

But the 21-year-old ended up signing a new deal with Crystal Palace, leaving Chelsea to lick their wounds and reassess their options.

We’ve identified five attacking talents that Chelsea can target after missing out on Olise.

Brennan Johnson

Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for Nottingham Forest and Wales forward Johnson, who is expected to cost around £50million.

The Guardian has reported that the club have held initial talks with Forest over a move, but that negotiations are at a very early stage.

Johnson, who also has sparked interest from Tottenham and West Ham, played a key role in Forest winning promotion from the Championship in 2022 and helped them stay in the Premier League by scoring eight goals last season.

It’s unclear whether the 22-year-old would slot straight into the first team at Stamford Bridge, but he’s a player with immense potential – much like the majority of Chelsea’s signings this summer.

Mohamed Kudus

No strangers to a cheeky hijack, Chelsea could swoop in for Kudus and sign him from under West Ham’s noses.

The Ghana international enjoyed a fantastic 2022/23 season with Ajax, scoring 18 goals and making seven assists in 42 appearances across all competitions.

Kudus is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League. He was heavily linked with a move to Everton last summer, while Brighton also agreed a fee with Ajax, but he decided against joining the Seagulls.

West Ham’s technical director Tim Steidten is in Amsterdam to secure a £40million deal, but Chelsea would probably have the edge over the Hammers if they decided to make their move.

Bradley Barcola

According to French journalist Fabrice Hawkins, Lyon winger Barcola is another potential option for the Blues.

“Chelsea have accelerated on Bradley Barcola in recent hours,” Hawkins wrote on Twitter.

“He is well placed in the Blues’ shortlist after the failure of Michael Olise. PSG [are also in the race] and Lyon half-opened the door but refused an offer of €35m (approx. £29.8m) with bonuses. The player has not given a final agreement [to joining PSG].

Barcola is widely considered to be one of Ligue 1’s top talents after scoring seven times and providing 12 assists last season, and it’s no surprise to see clubs like Chelsea and PSG battling to sign him.

The 20-year-old would cost in the region of £30million.

Elye Wahi

Chelsea have already seen a £24million bid rejected for Wahi, whose form at Montpellier has alerted a number of Premier League clubs.

Despite scoring 19 goals and registering six assists in 33 appearances in Ligue 1 last season, Chelsea would loan Wahi to feeder club Strasbourg as they do not deem him ready for England’s top flight.

It’s this lack of immediate faith that may see the striker move elsewhere.

Rayan Cherki

Cherki is another potential world-class talent that’s been on Chelsea’s radar this summer.

The Lyon talisman only just turned 20 years old, and is coming off of a season where he recorded four goals and six assists in just 21 starts.

Even better is that his underlying playmaking and ball-carrying metrics are out-of-this-world. Cherki can use both feet equally well, which automatically makes him a bigger danger in and around the box than some of those currently at Stamford Bridge.

If he doesn’t leave Lyon this summer, he’s bound to be incredibly sought after in 2024. Chelsea might need to get a wriggle on…

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