Chelsea fans will be feeling mixed emotions ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The Blues are expected to appoint club legend Frank Lampard as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement before pre-season kicks off in a week’s time.
But unlike virtually every other Chelsea manager of the last 15 years, the 41-year-old’s arrival won’t be complemented with any new signings.
Lampard would have to cope with a two-window ban if he takes over at Stamford Bridge – a predicament made all the more difficult by the completion of Eden Hazard’s long-awaited move to Real Madrid.
Chelsea need to replace the Belgian’s goals this summer, but given they’ll be forced to look in-house for a solution, their options are severely limited.
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With Gonzalo Higuain returning to Juventus, the west Londoners’ current strike force consists of Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham.
Alvaro Morata is another option, though.
According to the Telegraph, Chelsea have an option to recall the Spaniard before next season unless Atletico Madrid pay £50 million to make his 18-month loan permanent.
If that doesn’t sum up the Blues’ dire situation, we don’t know what will.
Morata scored nine goals in all competitions under Sarri before he was shipped to La Liga midway through the campaign.
The former Juventus hitman looked eminently more confident across his 17 appearances for Atletico, scoring five goals in the process.
It’s not the strongest case to convince the Wanda Metropolitano chiefs to cough up an amount that would make Morata their third-most expensive player ever.
And let’s not forget, Atletico are also closing in on the signing of Portuguese teenager Joao Felix for a reported fee of £112.9 million.
That’s bad news for Morata, who’s made his stance on his future crystal clear.
“I want to stay at Atletico but, contractually, Chelsea can call me back,” he told Goal earlier in June.
“We will see what happens in the negotiations between them, but the two clubs already know what I want.
“I only ask, please, as I said to Atletico, do everything possible to do it as soon as possible. Because I just want to be here.”
We’ll have to wait and see just how desperate Chelsea are.