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Chelsea: Alan Hutton says striker should be the Blues’ priority

Chelsea: Alan Hutton says striker should be the Blues' priority - Chelsea News

Chelsea’s priority in the summer window should be a striker ahead of any potential move for Declan Rice, according to Alan Hutton.

The Lowdown: Chelsea’s signings

Despite splashing €611.49m (£537m) in the summer and winter transfer windows combined after Todd Boehly took control of the club, Chelsea have failed to solve their problems up top.

The Blues have addressed defensive issues with the signings of Kalidou Koulibaly, Benoit Badiashile, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana, while they are set to be joined by Malo Gusto next season. And since the closing of the January window, Graham Potter’s side conceded their first goal in three league games this weekend against West Ham United.

However, scoring just six goals in their previous 12 games in all competitions – including one in three Premier League matches – have opened up concerns at the other end of the pitch, despite buying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the summer.

The Latest: Hutton’s comments

Speaking to Football Insider regarding the Blues’ upcoming business they’re set to do in the summer, former Premier League defender Hutton claimed that a striker should be their priority rather than a move for Hammers midfielder and ex-academy player Rice, amid persisting speculation over a move away from the London Stadium.

He said: “I think the striker situation is more of a problem for them at this moment in time.

“They just spent £105m on a centre-mid that does the same sort of thing as Rice. Do they need to spend another £100m? No.

“I do not really know the direction that they are going in at this moment in time when it comes to recruitment.”

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The Verdict: Can they do both?

Given Chelsea’s massive spending since Boehly’s arrival, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Blues signed both Rice and a new talisman up front for over £100m each.

The Irons captain’s price tag is touted to be between £75m-£85m, as revealed by David Ornstein on The Athletic Football Podcast, whilst the Blues’ spending and Romelu Lukaku previously arriving in west London for £97.5m in 2021 leaves the door well open to a fee of over £100m potentially available for a new man.

Given Chelsea’s struggles this season, which sees them nine points off the top following their 1-1 draw against West Ham on Saturday lunchtime, the strong possibility of missing out on the Champions League does pose the question of the financial ramifications of how they will be able to act in the transfer window.

But if they can spend as much as they have with Champions League football at the Bridge, perhaps their biggest obstacle to signing Rice – or indeed, a top-class striker – will be persuading them to come without the promise of top-level continental football.

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