Chelsea are eyeing up a shock move for Liverpool forward Rickie Lambert as a replacement for Didier Drogba according to the Mirror.
The Ivorian is expected to end his second spell at Stamford Bridge this summer and could even retire from the game, and the Blues are on the lookout for a forward to take his place.
The Mirror say that Chelsea have stepped up their search for the right man for the job in recent weeks and had Lambert scouted during Liverpool's 2-1 win against Queens Park Rangers over the weekend.
The England international joined Liverpool from Southampton for around £4.5 million last year, but hasn't fully settled into life at Anfield. The 33-year-old has scored just twice in the Premier League from 22 appearances and just six starts, clocking up just 706 minutes of action on the pitch so far.
Lambert joins Tottenham's troubled striker Emmanuel Adebayor on Chelsea's shortlist of potential Drogba replacements as third choice forward in the summer, with both Diego Costa and Loic Remy retaining their places as first-choice and back-up.
Drogba is out of contract in the summer but the 37-year-old has previously insisted that he wants to play on next season. However Chelsea have yet to offer him a contract to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer and boss Jose Mourinho has hinted the decision lays with Roman Abramovich.
"I have made a decision, yes and no, it's not my last season,” Drogba revealed last month. “It's difficult when you don't play and then have to go into these kind of games. But I try to give my best.
“I tried to give the best of my physical capacity against QPR, so if the manager needs me I'm ready.”
The former Marseille forward has scored four goals in the Premier League this season, the last of which came in the 3-1 win against Leicester which moved Chelsea to brink of their first title win since 2010 before the three points against Crystal Palace sealed the deal.
This is probably one of the most bizarre transfer rumours you will ever see. Chelsea, who have fallen foul of having just three strikers this season which has almost cost them at times, will replace an ageing Drogba with an ageing Lambert? Yeah right.
The bare bones of the story are probably right; Mourinho wants to maintain a balance in his squad and won't sign a big-name to sit on the bench as third choice striker but surely having Patrick Bamford as that man or another young forward is a much better option for the future.
What is the craziest Chelsea transfer rumour you have ever heard?
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