‘I don’t need a striker, but maybe a winger’ – Sarri plays down Higuain links as he reveals January plans

Maurizio Sarri has played down links with Gonzalo Higuain after insisting that he is not looking to sign a striker in the January transfer window.

The Blues boss did, however, hint that he could move for a winger as he looks to provide further competition for the likes of Willian, Pedro and Eden Hazard.

Goal understands that Chelsea had been exploring the possibility of signing Argentine forward Higuain, potentially in a swap deal with Alvaro Morata, although the move is complicated by the fact that the 31-year-old is currently on loan at Milan from Juventus.

And despite Olivier Giroud – who is now facing a month on the sidelines due to an ankle injury – and Morata’s struggles in front of goal, Sarri says that he won’t ask for Michy Batshuayi or Tammy Abraham to return from loan spells with Valencia and Aston Villa respectively.

“No [I don’t need another striker], because I have the option with Hazard in this position,” he said. “We have Morata and Hazard can play very well in this position as we have seen in the last two, three matches. So I think that in this moment I don’t need another striker.  

“Maybe another winger, because now we are in trouble with the injuries of Pedro, of [Callum] Hudson-Odoi and [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek. So I have the option for the striker [Hazard] but at the moment I have no option for the wingers.”

Batshuayi has scored just three times in his first six months on loan at Valencia, and Goal understands the Blues are looking at the possibility of cutting short his spell in Spain and sending him on a temporary move elsewhere.

Aston Villa have had a far better return from Abraham, meanwhile, with the 21-year-old having scored 16 goals in 20 games for the Championship side.

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Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal have seen Sarri deploy Hazard in a No.9 position recently, with the Belgian having grabbed 10 goals and nine assists so far this season.

Sarri’s side currently sit fourth in the table at the start of 2019 having claimed two wins from their last two games after a shock defeat at home to Leicester City on December 22.

Next up for the Blues is a meeting with Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 

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