Chelsea open talks with Villarreal striker Nicolas Jackson

Chelsea have stepped up their pursuit for a new striker and opened talks with Villarreal striker Nicolas Jackson.

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson, 21, enjoyed a superb end to the 2022-23 campaign with Villarreal, scoring nine goals in his last eight La Liga games—something which has caught the attention of new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino. He has been identified as a cheaper alternative to £100-million rated Napoli hitman Victor Osimhen by Pochettino, with the Villarreal starlet expected to be available for as little as £30 million.

Chelsea have reportedly met Jackson’s representatives last week to discuss a potential move, as Pochettino wants to add firepower to his squad after the Blues’ dismal last campaign. The Pensioners really struggled in front of goal this year, managing just 38 goals in the Premier League. It was among the major reasons for their struggles, with the club finishing 12th in the table—their worst finish in the Premier League era.

Chelsea set for major rebuild under Mauricio Pochettino

As Mauricio Pochettino officially takes his post as the permanent successor of Graham Potter from July 1, Chelsea are set for a very busy summer as the Argentinean tactician looks to rebuild a bloated squad and build a workable team in his image.

The Blues have delved into the market for attacking reinforcements after their well-documented woes in front of goal during the 2022-23 campaign. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang endured a nightmare debut season at Stamford Bridge while the likes of Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling lacked ruthless finishing. And with Arsenal launching an interest in Havertz and Romelu Lukaku’s future up in the air, Pochettino is eyeing a new striker to lead his attack next term.

Victor Osimhen is Pochettino’s No.1 transfer target, but as Napoli are asking over £100 million to sell their star striker this summer, the Blues are scouring the market for his alternatives. Of late, Nicolas Jackson has emerged as an alternative to Osimhen.

Having broken into the scene a couple of years back, Jackson just enjoyed his best season in a Villarreal shirt, scoring 13 goals and supplying five assists in 38 appearances across all competitions. He is a player with pace, energy, dynamism and finishing skills—someone exactly of the profile the Blues desperately need.

At 21 years old, the Senegalese international would represent a long-term investment—with Chelsea potentially trying to find a forward who they can rely on for the best part of the decade. If Chelsea can wrap up a deal for Jackson for anything below £40 million, it would represent a smart buy under the Todd Boehly regime.

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