COULD we see an Alvaro Morata and Mauro Icardi front-line in the Premier League next season?
It’s a possibility with Argentine journalist Fernando Czyz claiming Chelsea have made a bid for the Inter Milan striker.
He tweeted yesterday: “Mauro Icardi has received the first formal offer to leave Inter.
“Chelsea made a bid of £55million for the Argentine forward to move to London.”
With that in mind, we asked our friends at Football Whispers if Icardi would be a good signing for Chelsea and whether he could play alongside Morata.
There isn’t much doubt signing the forward would be a coup for the Blues.
He is currently one of the hottest strikers in Europe and has scored 22 goals in 24 Serie A games this season.
That means he’s got a whopping 47 percent of Inter’s league goals in 2017-18.
And his great form means the reported bid of £55m won’t come anywhere near close to capturing the 25-year-old.
He has a buyout clause of £96m and that’s what it will take to get him to move away from the San Siro.
It may seem a lot of money, but when the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele are moving to Barcelona for more than £100m, it’s the going rate for a top class striker.
Since arriving at Inter from Sampdoria in 2012, Icardi has proven he’s among the best in Italy, with 93 goals in 149 games.
He has gone from a lumbering, isolated forward who is unwilling to contribute to the team, to an unselfish hard worker who leads front the front.
That transformation may have come from being handed the captain’s armband in 2015.
The 25-year-old has also developed a habit for scoring goals and crucial times this season.
His strike against Bologna turned defeat into a draw. His hat-trick against Milan snatched victory from defeat.
He performed similar heroics away at Roma – in a a game Inter struggled to compete in, he scored twice to seal a 3-1 win.
Netting that hat-trick in the Milan derby earned effusive praise from his boss Luciano Spalletti.
“Mauro was grandiose today. Grandiose,” he said after the match.
“Despite all the responsibility poured on his shoulders, he has the humility to listen to advice and works hard dropping back to win the ball.
“A centre-forward cannot always just hang off the striker, as he becomes easier to mark.
Icardi is a complete striker and for his age shoulders so much responsibility, contributing his hand.”
There’s no doubt getting a striker who not only knows how to put the ball in the net, but can get involved in the all-round play would be a massive coup for anyone, let alone Chelsea, who need a boost after a disappointing title defence.
There would be fears of how he can adapt to another club, however, with Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli not picking him for his most recent squads.
“The connection between Icardi’s performances in Inter and Argentina weren’t the best,” he said when asked why he didn’t select the frontman.
If he can’t replicate his form for his country, there would be fears he could struggle to adapt to a new country.
Despite that, it would be no surprise to see the Blues bring in another striker in the summer given Morata has managed just one goal in all competitions in 2018.
But could the Spaniard play alongside Icardi or would it mean the end of his time at Stamford Bridge?
Given Inter have played a 4-2-3-1 and the Argentine has occupied the lone role up front, the signals aren’t very good for Morata.
He has, however, previously played alongside Stevan Jovetic for the Nerazzurri.
That partnership started well, with the Montenegrin declaring at the start of their relationship in 2015.
“Me and Icardi form a good partnership up front and we showed that the more we play together, the more we will improve,” he said.
But, they fell out and by 2016, Jovetic’s agent went public with his client’s unhappiness about his strike partner’s influence in the dressing room.
That would be a concern for the Blues as well.
Of course, it depends on what formation Chelsea play next season as to whether Icardi would be signed to play alongside, or replace, Morata.
And that depends massively on who is in charge, with Antonio Conte’s future in real doubt.
But should they be paired together, the duo have the skills to terrify defences. Both of them work hard off the ball and get involved with the build-up play.
They are also both intelligent and make smart runs, as well as being good in the air.
Should they hit it off, they could form a deadly partnership that would be reminiscent of the days of classic strike duos in the Premier League.
But even if they don’t play as a pair, Icardi arriving could take some of the heat off Morata.
Before joining Chelsea, he hadn’t been the main man at a club in his career, something which Conte had hinted was affecting the forward earlier this month.
He said: “In the past with Real Madrid, with Juventus, he was on the bench, the first substitute, on if the striker was injured.
“For this reason, I think we must have great patience.”
Bringing in another big-name forward like Icardi could just ease the pressure on Morata, whether it be as a lone striker or as part of a strike partnership.