Peter Crouch: Chelsea make contact with Stoke over veteran striker
Chelsea have made contact with Stoke about signing veteran striker Peter Crouch but no deal is imminent, BBC Sport understands.
Blues boss Antonio Conte wants to bring in a striker, which would allow Michy Batshuayi to leave the club this month.
West Ham's Andy Carroll was an option but that avenue has been closed by the ankle injury that will keep him out for at least a month and possibly longer.
Former Liverpool striker Crouch, 36, is contracted to Stoke until summer 2019.
As a short-term measure, Crouch is attractive to the Premier League champions because he is used to the league, having made 449 appearances, would understand his role as back-up to main striker Alvaro Morata, and is available for the Champions League. He has scored 18 times in European football's top competition.
One drawback is that the former England man has played in both domestic cup competitions for Stoke and is therefore unavailable for the remainder of those competitions.
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'It's a no-brainer'
It is a weird one, I am not going to lie. What is going through Conte's head is the need for a clear plan B - to go long and cause problems. In terms of that it is a good option. I played with him for years and for a midfielder he is an absolute dream.
It looks like it will be a year-and-a-half deal. It is a no-brainer in terms of wages and what he brings to the table. Why not?
Crouch is as professional as they come - he will be great to have around the dressing room. He will not be overawed because he has been at some big clubs. It is a great opportunity for him and I think the fans will take to him.