Chelsea close to Emerson Palmieri signing as Edin Dzeko deal drags on
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 22/01/18 1:22pm
Chelsea appear close to completing the signing of left-back Emerson Palmieri from Roma - but a deal for Edin Dzeko remains some distance away.
Sky in Italy report that Palmieri's representatives are happy with terms for the 23-year-old to move to Stamford Bridge and are just waiting for the clubs to give the nod.
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They also report that Dzeko's agent is expected in London in the next 24 hours and Chelsea have improved their offer for the player.
Roma are asking for £44m plus £8.8m in bonus payments for the pair, and the clubs are now trying to work out whether to include Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi on loan in the deal.
But one source has told Sky Sports News that Dzeko is proving more difficult because of his wages, and Chelsea are unsure whether to spend so much on a 31-year-old, taking the whole financial package into account.
The source has also claimed that Chelsea's preference is another West Ham player - Marko Arnautovic.
Blues boss Antonio Conte wants to sign a target man before the transfer deadline and his club have made inquiries for a string of players within that past week including Andy Carroll, Fernando Llorente, Peter Crouch and Ashley Barnes.
First-choice Carroll is out for at least a month with an ankle injury that may require surgery, according to West Ham boss David Moyes.
According to Guillem Balague, Tottenham rejected a loan approach from Chelsea for Llorente, who was a target for Conte before he signed for Spurs last summer.