Veteran English striker Peter Crouch could be set for a shock loan move to Premier League champions Chelsea from Stoke City, according to the British media on Friday.

The former England international – who turns 37 on January 30 – is wanted by Chelsea as cover for Alvaro Morata, who is currently suspended after being sent off in the League Cup. Antonio Conte is even willing to let Belgian Michy Batshuayi leave in the January transfer window to accommodate Crouch, according to reports.

Chelsea were earlier targeting West Ham United striker man Andy Carroll but he picked up an ankle injury that may rule him out for the rest of the season.

The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph all reported that Chelsea have switched their interest to Crouch, who has scored four goals in 21 appearances this term for Stoke.

The west London club would prefer a loan deal for the Chelsea fan and former ball boy, who only last November signed a one-year contract extension with an option for another year.

Conte has been seeking a target man since the close season and was beaten by Tottenham Hotspur to signing Spaniard Fernando Llorente from Swansea City.

With inputs from AFP