Chelsea: Lukaku decides future; James Rodriguez update; deal anticipated in 48 hours

The Evening Standard report that Everton boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed that star striker and Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku will remain at Goodison Park for at least one more season. The Belgian had been linked with a £60 million return to Stamford Bridge after leaving just two years ago, but the Dutchman has confirmed that Lukaku will be going nowhere, despite rumours suggesting Chelsea would wait until deadline day to make a move. Koeman told the press:

“He told me yesterday that he made the decision by himself to stay for at least one more season. It’s great news for everybody.”

For Chelsea and Antonio Conte, it is a massive blow and sends them back to the drawing board with less than two weeks of the transfer window left. Other names have been linked, the likes of Gabriel Barbosa and Mauro Icardi, but Lukaku was the top target after missing out on Alvaro Morata, and the Blues are suffering from a lack of European football this season. Conte is desperate to sign another striker to be able to have the depth to play with two up front regularly, but will not want to compromise and sign an average player to allow him to do so.

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By trying to look at the silver lining of the news, it could open up some funds to be spent on Real Madrid’s unwanted Colombia star James Rodriguez, with Zinedine Zidane keen to sell the 25-year-old, say the Express. Zidane has been told that he has to sell to be able to buy and does not feel that Rodriguez is a valued member of the team. That has sparked a host of clubs, including Chelsea, into considering a £61 million offer for the star of the 2014 World Cup.

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For the Blues, a move for James Rodriguez seems to make little sense with a host of attacking midfielders already at the club. Whilst speculation has been suggesting that Antonio Conte is keen to see some players leave as he rejuvenates the squad, it would surely take some players to leave before a move for James Rodriguez could take place. It is not completely beyond the realms of imagination though, as Roman Abramovich is known to be keen on such marquee signings.

One such departure is likely to be Juan Cuadrado according to Tuttosport. The Italian source claims that the player’s agent is in London to finalise a loan deal to take him back to Turin and rejoin Juventus, where he spent last season on loan as they won the Italian league and cup double. The right winger scored five times in 40 appearances for the club and became a fan favourite, with Massimiliano Allegri keen to bring him back this season.

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The loan move, which will include a £3 million fee, comes after Antonio Conte took time over pre-season to decide on whether or not he wanted the player to form part of his plans this season. The Italian manager was unimpressed by the Colombian and has now decided that he is happy to dispense with the winger, who was left out of the squad for yesterday’s victory over Watford.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Craig Ballantyne.

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