Peter Crouch, 36, Emerges as Surprise Target For Premier League Champions Chelsea

Chelsea have surprised most corners of the Premier League by making an inquiry to Stoke City over a potential move for Peter Crouch as previous target Andy Carroll is sidelined with a lengthy injury.

The West London club is growing desperate to bring in back-up for Alvaro Morata, the Spanish striker Chelsea signed from Real Madrid in the summer, as the goals have dried up.

West Ham's Carroll looked likely to move to Stamford Bridge this month but an ankle injury has ruled out any move, and may require surgery and a four-month lay-off.

So Chelsea have made inquiries to Stoke City about bringing Crouch, the former England striker who turns 37 at the end of this month, to Stamford Bridge, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Stoke have only just appointed new manager Paul Lambert and are believed to only be willing to let Crouch leave if they have a replacement brought in. Crouch, however, only signed a new deal with the club in November and has returned to first-team action since Mark Hughes was sacked.

Chelsea would prefer to take Crouch on a loan until the end of the season, but that is an option Stoke is unlikely to agree to.

Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, January 15. Crouch, who turns 37 at the end of this month, is believed to be a target for Chelsea. Michael Regan/Getty

The Blues, meanwhile, are spreading their net for a new striker far and wide, with various strikers across the Premier League being considered.

They are believed to be assessing the possibility of a move for Fernando Llorente, the Spanish striker, who was linked with a move to Chelsea but opted for Tottenham last summer instead.

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke, 27, is also believed to be a player in the minds of those who make the decisions at Stamford Bridge, but it would take a generous offer to prise him from Selhurst Park.

Morata, who cost Chelsea £60 million in the summer, had a fine start to life in English football. He scored six goals in his first six Premier League games but hasn't hit the back of the net in his last six appearances in all competitions, and was sent off in Chelsea's victory over Norwich in the FA Cup on Wednesday (January 17).

Batshuayi, the 24-year-old Belgian, scored the only goal of the night for Chelsea but clearly has not got the faith of manager Antonio Conte. The potential of Crouch coming in suggests Chelsea are looking to experience rather than youth.