Serie A newbies Salernitana jump ahead of Genk for Chelsea’s Nigeria-eligible star

The Garnets have already sealed a move for Nigerian midfielder Joel Obi but are keen to add a prolific striker to their squad before a predictably challenging top-flight campaign

Salernitana have now been installed as the favourites to land Chelsea youngster Ike Ugbo who has been linked with several clubs this summer.

The newly-promoted Italians have signed veteran Nigerian midfielder Joel Obi in July and are known admirers of Super Eagles striker Simy Nwankwo.

But Crotone’s high financial demand for the 29-year-old Nigerian international has forced Salernitana to look elsewhere for their attacking reinforcement.

And in Ugbo, the Garnets have found a prolific goal-getter who marries an impressive physical profile to a fine array of technical attributes.

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The Chelsea academy product scored 13 goals in 28 games while on loan at Roda JC in the Eerste Divisie during the 2019/20 season. He got even better last season when he found the back of the net 16 times in 32 matches for Cercle Brugge in the Belgian first division.

A return to Belgium appeared likely with Genk leading the race for his signature, but Salernitana may have jumped ahead of the Smurfs.

According to YSport, the Italian Serie A new boys have agreed terms with Ugbo for a loan transfer, with Chelsea open to letting the 22-year-old forward gain more experience in one of Europe’s major leagues.

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Feyenoord, PSV and Besiktas are among the clubs interested in signing Ugbo ahead of the 2021/22 season.