Football

Desperate Chelsea turn to Crouch: Reports

Conte wants the veteran Stoke striker as cover for Morata

EPL
 BRIGHTON CHELSEA

Veteran striker Peter Crouch could be set for a shock loan move to Premier League champions Chelsea from strugglers Stoke City, according to the British media.

The 2.01m-tall former England international – who turns 37 on Jan 30 – is wanted by Chelsea as cover for Alvaro Morata as Antonio Conte is willing to let Belgian Michy Batshuayi leave. 

Conte has constantly lamented a lack of squad depth this season. He will be without Morata, Pedro (both suspended), Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill (both injured) for Saturday's game against Brighton.

Conte had originally wanted West Ham target man Andy Carroll but the injury-prone striker has an ankle injury that may rule him out for the rest of the season.

The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph reported that Chelsea have switched their interest to the 42-time capped Crouch – who has scored four goals in 21 appearances this term.

The west London club would prefer a loan deal for the Chelsea fan and former ball boy, who only last November signed a one-year contract extension with an option for another year.

Conte has been seeking a target man since the close season and was beaten by Tottenham Hotspur to signing Spaniard Fernando Llorente from Swansea City. – AFP

peter crouchchelseaAntonio Conte