Chelsea plan 16m raid to make hitman Negredo the latest member of their Spanish Armada
00:35 GMT, 29 December 2012
Alvaro Negredo has been offered to Chelsea as they begin the search for another striker to provide support Fernando Torres.
The Sevilla forward is being hawked around Europe for 16million, but is just one of a number of names on Rafa Benitez’s wish-list.
The interim Chelsea coach has been assured by technical director Michael Emenalo that reinforcements will be brought in during the January window.
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Hotshot: Alvaro Negredo is a prime target for Rafa Benitez
Although Benitez and owner Roman Abramovich are delighted with Torres’ progress over the last few weeks, Chelsea want to add to their attacking options.
Negredo was a target for Benitez when he was at Liverpool. He has an impressive goalscoring record and has made an impact with Spain’s national team, and the valuation of the 27-year-old will not be a problem for a club of Chelsea’s resources.
They are about to offload Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool for a similar fee and will use the money to reinvest.
In form: Fernando Torres could soon by joined by another Spaniard
Chelsea have discussed recalling Romelu Lukaku from West Bromwich after his sparkling form for Steve Clarke’s side.
Lukaku is on a seasonlong loan at The Hawthorns, but Chelsea have an option to bring him back in January.
Despite the temptation, it is understood that Benitez and Chelsea’s technical staff believe it would be more beneficial to leave him with the Baggies until the summer so he can gain more top flight experience.
Discussions: Chelsea have thought about bringing back Romelu Lukaku from West Brom but believe it would be more beneficial to leave him at The Hawthorns
Lukaku became increasingly frustrated about his lack of first-team chances at Stamford Bridge after joining from Anderlecht in 2011 and the striker, 19, wants to remain with West Brom.
Chelsea also hope to sign Metalist Kharkiv’s attacking midfielder Taison next month.
The move for the 24-year-old Brazilian is complicated because he has not been capped at senior level, but Chelsea are convinced he can get a work permit based on ‘special talent’.
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