Chelsea hit another brick wall in search for striker

Chelsea’s ongoing search for a new striker shows no signs of reaching a conclusion, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been told he is not leaving Borussia Dortmund.

Antonio Conte informed last season’s top goalscorer Diego Costa that he is surplus to requirements earlier this summer, which came as no huge surprise following their stormy relationship last term. Atletico Madrid, despite their transfer ban, remain in pole position to take the Spaniard back.

It was widely expected that Romelu Lukaku was the man who would be leading the line for Conte next season, but the champions were left seething earlier this month when Manchester United beat them to the punch by signing the Belgian international from Everton in a £75million transfer.

This resulted in the Blues turning their attention to Aubameyang, who has scored 120 goals in 189 appearances for Dortmund since 2013. The Bundesliga giants seemed prepared to grant the 28-year-old a transfer this summer, provided they banked a fee of at least £70million for his departure.

This was a price well within the budget of the Stamford Bridge outfit, but it now appears they have missed out on another target. Dortmund have now insisted the Gabon international is not for sale, after he failed to clinch a move away from the club by the deadline he was given.

Conte, if his interest in the player was genuine, will see this as another blow in what has been a frustrating second summer in England. The Italian is now expected to instruct his club to tie up a deal for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, who is likely to cost a fee in the region of £75million.

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