Fernando Llorente
Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente celebrates a goal against Valencia during their Spanish first division soccer match at San Mames stadium in Bilbao REUTERS/Vincent West

According to the latest reports from Italy's Serie A, Chelsea are closely monitoring Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente who, according to pundits, is seen as replacement for the English club's French striker Nicolas Anelka; the Frenchman, in turn, is being targeted by Italian giants AC Milan during the forthcoming January transfer window.

Chelsea, who are expected to seek new defensive options this January, owing to the fact that the Blues got ripped apart by London rivals Arsenal, already have a number of versatile strikers like Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge, Romelu Lukaku and Salomon Kalou to provide fire support up front.

If Fernando Llorente does in fact arrive, one of their current strikers (most probably Nicolas Anelka) will have to leave Stamford Bridge. Llorente, who has netted seven times this season for Bilbao, may look to move forward with one of the more elite clubs in the European arena and leave the club he has represented since the age of 11.

The Basque side, currently, has placed a price tag in excess of £25m for the 26-year-old Spanish international, who could fit in well with fellow countrymen Fernando Torres and Juan Mata in the Blues' attack.

Chelsea, thus far, has netted 21 goals in ten games of the English Premier League.

Llorente, also known as El Rey Leon (The Lion King) in Spanish, started his career with Athletic Bilbao. He has made 213 appearances for the club and has netted 69 goals.