Chelsea are close to completing the signing of prolific Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric, according to fresh reports.
The Metro cite Croatian sources as claiming that Chelsea are leading the race to sign the 23-year-old, who currently plies his trade with Rijeka in Croatia’s top league.
Kramaric has been compared to Croatia legend Davor Suker, the former Real Madrid striker who had a brief spell with Arsenal, on account of his unerring ability to find the back of the net.
Last season the former Dinamo Zagreb starlet scored a superb 27 goals in 34 appearances, while this season he has already netted a magnificent 28 goals from 28 matches.
Kramaric currently leads the top goalscorer charts in the Croatian top flight with 21 goals, which is a staggering 12 more goals than the highest scorer of league-leaders Dinamo Zagreb.
A striker blessed with a natural ability to score goals, Kramaric has caught the eye of a number of top coaches at some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Jose Mourinho.
Competition at Chelsea
The Blues’ boss already has three top strikers at Stamford Bridge - Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy - but will not want to miss out on securing the services of a potential world-class forward.
Furthermore, Drogba turns 37 in March, and this could be the Chelsea legend’s final season at Stamford Bridge - at least in a playing capacity - which leaves Mourinho on the hunt for a long-term replacement.
A move to Chelsea may tempt Kramaric, but the striker will be acutely aware that moving to Stamford Bridge may severely limit his first-team opportunities. Costa is widely considered one of the Premier League’s best strikers, and could be the Blues’ first-choice centre-forward for the next six years.
One potential option is for Chelsea to buy the Croatia international, who has scored two goals in four appearances for his national team, before loaning him out to continue playing week-in, week-out.
But Kramaric, because of his excellent goalscoring record, may feel he’s ready to lead the line for a top European club at this stage of his career.
If Chelsea can’t offer Kramaric what he desires, then a move to Serie A champions Juventus could be on the cards.
The striker recently told reporters: “For every player in the Croatian league, it would be a dream to play for Juventus.
“Serie A is one of the biggest competitions and I’d love to play in Italy one day. I know that Juve have a number of excellent, world-class players."