Chelsea set to launch 15m swoop to add hitman Negredo to Spanish contingent
13:10 GMT, 28 December 2012
Chelsea have lined up a January swoop for Alvaro Negredo to boost their strikeforce.
Rafa Benitez is desperate to beef up his attack in the transfer window, with Daniel Sturridge set to leave.
Hotshot: Alvaro Negredo is a prime target for Rafa Benitez
If Sturridge joins Liverpool as expected, Fernando Torres would be the only recognised forward left at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez is hoping to add to his Spanish ranks by bringing in Negredo from Sevilla.
The Spain international would cost in the region of 15million and his side are keen for a quick sale to ease their financial problems.
Negredo, a former Tottenham target, has scored 52 goals in 112 goals since arriving at Sevilla in 2009.
In form: Fernando Torres could soon by joined by another Spaniard
If Negredo does arrive, he will join a growing Spanish contingent which currently includes Torres, Juan Mata, Oriol Romeu, Cesar Azpilicueta and Benitez.
Benitez has the rest of the season to prove he deserves the Chelsea job on a permanent basis and much of that will depend of how clinical they are in front of goal.
Roman Abramovich brought Benitez in as a stop-gap after sacking Roberto Di Matteo and his long-term aim is to bring in Pep Guardiola.
WHO IS NEGREDO
With Chelsea likely to be challenging on four fronts at home and abroad in the New Year, manager Rafael Benitez needs a frontman with a proven goalscoring record – and Alvaro Negredo could be just the man.
Since leaving Real Madrid in 2007 after failing to break into the first team, Negredo has been a proven goalscorer first at Almeria, where he notched 32 in 73 appearances, and now Sevilla.
In his four seasons at the latter, he has managed 65 goals in 150 games across all competitions, including 11 in 12 so far this season.
Born in Madrid in 1985, Negredo started out at local side Rayo Vallecano, the same outfit that Swansea's sensation Michu played for.
Proven: Accomplished both on the ground and in the air, Alvaro Negredo has scored plenty of goals for Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid Castilla, Almeria and Sevilla
He was spotted by Real while playing for Rayo in the third division in 2005 and competed with Roberto Soldado for the striker's position in the Castilla ('B') side.
Fabio Capello realised his talent after Negredo scored 18 goals for Castilla in 2006-2007, but he wouldn't make a senior appearance at the Bernabeu.
After his two successful years with Almeria, Real bizarrely activated his 3m buy-back clause in 2009, but only fielded him in one pre-season game before selling him to Sevilla for 12m.
He won the Copa del Rey in his first season with the club and, following the departures of Luis Fabiano and Freddy Kanoute, became their first choice striker alongside Jesus Navas.
Energetic, quick and an accomplished finisher both on the ground and in the air, Negredo has also been recognised by national team manager Vicente del Bosque.
He has to date won 12 caps and scored six goals though he lies behind David Villa and potential Chelsea strike partner Fernando Torres in the pecking order.
VIDEO: Some of Negredo's goals for Sevilla