Chelsea: Costa and Lukaku updates; flop defender to leave; goalkeeper to sign
The biggest transfer update for Chelsea this evening comes from the Evening Standard who say that the Blues have upped their offer for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from £57 million to £60 million, and expect to agree a deal with Everton in the coming days. The news will see the striker return to the first club he played for in English football after two years at Goodison Park after an initial one season loan period.
Lukaku has a proven record in the Premier League, and at £60 million will expect to get plenty of opportunities for first team football under Antonio Conte, who has previously preferred to play two up front, with Lukaku likely to play the role of the stronger forward, similar to how he has played as a lone forward in much of his time at Everton under Roberto Martinez.
Despite this, the Sun is casting doubt over who will be Lukaku’s partner, with their reports suggesting that Atletico Madrid are hoping to secure the signature of Diego Costa in the coming days. They claim that the Spanish club are preparing a £40 million offer, which would represent an £8 million profit for Chelsea two years after they brought him to the UK.
Chelsea are said to be reluctant to leave, and are reportedly furious at Atletico’s behaviour, with some even suggesting that the Madird club have tapped up the striker, but if Costa is as desperate for a move as some claim, it would be foolish to stand in his way with such an offer on the table. Costa’s form dropped last season, scoring just 12 goals, and if they can make a profit on a player with concerns over his fitness and discipline, this could be their only chance to do so.
One of the bizarrely transfer moves of last summer was the £21 million signing of Augsburg defender Baba Rahman, and 12 months and 23 appearances later, the Daily Star claim that he is set to return to Germany to Schalke on loan, with the full back said to have travelled to Germany for a medical this weekend.
With Atletico Madrid and Roma also said to have been interested, the only real surprise is that the move is only a temporary one. Rahman never nailed down a first team place under Jose Mourinho or Guus Hiddink, and has featured in just 45 minutes of the Blues pre-season so far, with Antonio Conte preferring players from the under 21s in favour of the 22-year-old.
There also looks set to be an unexpected incoming, with the Daily Mail reporting that 16-year-old, 6ft5in, goalkeeper Marcin Bulka is set to join the club after an impressive trial period in April. The Pole had also been monitored by Barcelona, and the signing is great news for the Chelsea academy, with the youngster being recommended by former goalkeeper Henrique Hilario.
The youngster also provides a long term alternative to Thibaut Courtois, and adds to a position where Blues have previously struggled to develop their own players. It remains to be seen whether Bulka will follow in the Belgian’s footsteps and head out on loan, or if he will remain in London to train with the academy at Cobham.
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