Premier League • England

Chelsea sent packing in race to sign brilliant 20-goal striker: ‘As soon as they said €85m I thought it’s not enough’

Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres is a target for Chelsea

Viktor Gyokeres is a target for Chelsea

Chelsea have been told that €85 million (£73m) January transfer window offer for one of European football’s hottest strikers is simply ‘not enough’.

It’s no secret that Mauricio Pochettinio wants a prolific No.9 on board at Stamford Bridge after his side’s struggles in front of goal this season.

Nicolas Jackson has notched eight goals in 23 games for Chelsea in all competitions this term, although three of those came in a win over nine-man Tottenham.

That has led to an extensive search for a new central striker, with Brentford’s Ivan Toney, Napoli hotshot Victor Osimhen and Sporting star Viktor Gyokeres all linked with a move to west London.

TEAMtalk revealed on Wednesday that the way is clear for Chelsea to move for Osimhen after Arsenal threw all their eggs in the Toney basket, but former Coventry frontman Gyokeres also remains a viable option.

Although you wouldn’t think so, judging by Sporting boss Ruben Amorim’s claims about Chelsea‘s chase for his top attacker.

Gyokeres has certainly hit the ground running at Sporting since his €24m (£20m) move from the Sky Blues last summer, scoring 20 goals in just 24 outings in all competitions.

It’s been reported that the Blues have now submitted an €85m (£73m) bid to sign the Sweden international this month, however, that offer has been flatly rejected by Sporting.

Amorim, who was also a managerial target for Chelsea before they hired Pochettino, is adamant that the London club must activate the €100m (£85.8m) release clause in order to sign Gyokeres in the winter window.

DON’T MISSSources: Chelsea looking at deal for Tottenham old boy as agents push to secure high-profile Championship transfer

Amorim bullish over Gyokeres stay

When asked about Chelsea’s offer for Gyokeres, Amorim said on Wednesday: “I don’t know, I didn’t even ask [Hugo] Viana [Sporting’s director of football].

“Obviously I was informed of the news and as soon as they said €85m I thought ‘it’s not enough’.

“In the middle of the season, it will only come out through the clause. As we can’t control that, I feel I’m quite calm because we can’t do anything.

“Obviously we have to see the impact that Viktor has on the team, we would have to change a lot of things, and hence the management’s effort to only let out players that we can’t lose through the clause.

“I just heard the number, I thought it wasn’t enough and I moved on.

“Nowadays, obviously there are clubs that can pay €100m but we can’t control that.

“I’m sure there could be proposals in the summer, I don’t know about this one because I haven’t spoken to Viana yet.

“At this point in January, it seems difficult to me that anyone will reach €100m.”

Chelsea are back in action on January 23 when they host Middlesbrough in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Pochettino’s men were embarrassed in the first outing at The Riverside, losing 1-0 thanks to Hayden Hackney’s strike, although they did miss numerous chances on Teeside.

READ MOREExclusive: Major exit fear sees Fulham step up pursuit of Chelsea star also wanted by Nott’m Forest, Napoli