CHELSEA'S search for a new striker could force them to turn to Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke after it emerged Edin Dzeko has no interest in joining them.
The Roma forward emerged as a serious target for Antonio Conte on Thursday.
Blues were reportedly plotting a £57million swoop for the ex-Manchester City man, but the star's agent insists he wants to stay in Italy.
His representative Irfan Redzepagic told Roma Giallorossa: "No, I don't know anything about this.
"All I can say is that Conte likes Dzeko. But then who doesn't like Edin?"
Chelsea are desperate to bring in a striker before the end of the month and had lined-up West Ham's Andy Carroll before injury struck the towering frontman and ruled him out for months.
Conte is also considering a shock loan move for either Stoke City's Peter Crouch or Tottenham's Fernando Llorente, who he tried to sign last summer.
But both of those swoops are expected to be rejected by each player's respective clubs.
And that leaves Christian Benteke as a serious target for the Premier League champions, according to the Daily Mail.
The Belgian, 27, has only scored once in the top-flight this season and cost Palace £27m, which could rise to £32m, from Liverpool in August 2016.
He is one of the biggest earners at Selhurst Park and Roy Hodgson could be tempted to cash in and allow the out of form ex-Aston Villa man to leave.
That would free up funds for him to bring in additional reinforcements for his Eagles squad.
💰How to win £1MILLION with Sun Six💰
SUN SIX is the new predictor game where you can win £1million – just by correctly picking the results of six games.
Here is how to get your mitts on the million:
Top pundits IAN WRIGHT and DANNY HIGGINBOTHAM have made their picks for this week if you need a steer.
And remember, you can claim a free £30 bet with Sun Bets when you sign up put a tenner on this weekend's football here.
https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fsport%2Ffootball%2F5381446%2Fchelsea-transfer-news-crystal-palace-christian-benteke%2F&text=Chelsea%20may%20turn%20to%20Christian%20Benteke%20as%20Edin%20Dzeko%20wants%20to%20stay%20at%20Roma” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter