Mattia Destro's agent has confirmed Chelsea's interest in signing the Roma forward, yet insists that speculation involving a potential swap deal with Fernando Torres is merely unfounded fabrication.
Rumours that surfaced earlier on Thursday suggested that Roma and Chelsea had entered discussions over a possible exchange, with director Walter Sabatini supposedly having travelled to London in an attempt to further negotiations.
These claims have been quickly disputed by the player's camp, however, who do appear to be fully aware of the Blues' interest in Destro.
"It's true that Chelsea are interested in Mattia. But the reports regarding a swap deal have no foundation, it's all speculation," Renzo Contratto told the Press Association Sport in an interview that was brought to our attention by talkSPORT.
Torres himself may well be disappointed with such a dismissal of any swap, with the Spaniard's stock at Stamford Bridge having plummeted to all-time low.
Once one of world football's most revered and feared strikers during his prolific spells with Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, the 30-year-old has totally failed to live up to expectations in West London since his stunning British record £50 million to Chelsea back in January 2011.
While the much-maligned Torres may have won the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League during his subsequent three-year stint in blue, he has sadly become a rather pitiful figure of fun in the eyes of many due to his obvious lack of confidence and goalscoring consistency.
Many expected Chelsea and Jose Mourinho to cut their losses with Torres this summer, although the exits of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku have seen him remain at the club, seemingly as a lowly third-choice option behind new signing Diego Costa and returning hero Didier Drogba.
Watch: The latest Chelsea transfer news
Chelsea's striker interest
Chelsea's apparent interest in another striker in the form of £20 million-rated Destro is somewhat confusing at first glance, with only yesterday reports suggesting that Mourinho had cooled his interest in Queens Park Rangers forward Loic Remy due to the fact that the injury Drogba sustained in a friendly win over Ferencvaros earlier this month did not appear as bad as some had first feared.
As a full Italian international who notched an impressive 13 goals in just 20 Serie A appearances last season, it is clear that 23-year-old Destro is a promising talent who could prove to be far more successful at Chelsea than Torres ever has been.
However, with the powerful Costa set to be first-choice under Mourinho for the foreseeable future, someone like Remy - who has prior experience of the Premier League with both QPR and Newcastle United - could make more sense in the short-term.
Chelsea's attempts to strike a deal for Tottenham target Destro could yet be scuppered by Roma and the player himself however, with Contratto revealing that he would like to stay put at the Stadio Olimpico.
"Roma don't want to sell Mattia and Mattia prefers to remain at Roma,” he added.
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