Chelsea: Lukaku update; Portugal star bid; Italy striker wants Conte reunion
Just days after it had seemed that hopes of signing Romelu Lukaku this summer had been dashed, the Standard now report on claims that Ronald Koeman is unable to confirm whether or not Lukaku will stay as the Belgian considers handing in a transfer request to force through the move which he is desperate for. The 23-year-old is hoping to return to London to prove himself at the top level at his former club, but the Toffees are reluctant to sell.
With greater financial power this summer, the Merseyside club will not be forced into selling by Chelsea, who are prepared to offer £60 million plus Loic Remy, and so Lukaku may have to force the move himself. For Chelsea he could be the ideal solution to add to Antonio Conte’s frontline as the London club look to go from Champions League challengers to title challengers under their new boss following a disappointing campaign last term.
Another big money move could be underway for one of the star players of Euro 2016, with a £39 million bid for Sporting’s Portugal winger Joao Mario, claim sources in his home country. They report that the club are more likely to accept Chelsea’s offer than one received from Inter Milan despite offering fewer add-ons as the London club are prepared to pay more up-front, which could be the difference between whether the pacey and skilful winger ends up in England or Italy come the end of the month as he now returns to training with his club.
It may seem as though a right winger is the last thing that Chelsea need right now, with the likes of Willian, Pedro and Juan Cuadrado already battling for the position, but there has been speculation surrounding Pedro’s future of late and there remain question marks over Juan Cuadrado’s ability to adapt to the Premier League after impressing in Serie A but disappointing in his only six months spent in London since signing from Italy.
Another star of Euro 2016, although for different reasons, to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge is Italy’s Simone Zaza. The man made famous by his stuttered run up and missed penalty just minutes after coming on for Italy against Germany reportedly wants a reunion with Antonio Conte, claim the Telegraph. They say that Juventus are keen to offload the forward and will offer him in part exchange to sweeten a deal to see Nemanja Matic head to Turin.
Zaza has been far from prolific since signing for Juve and it remains questionable how he would adapt to life in the Premier League. That said, Chelsea are in desperate need of more depth up front and every new target seems to evade them, whereas Zaza is said to be keen on the move with the club ready to let him go. Whilst far from first choice, as a player that Conte knows well, there could be worse options to have as a last resort.
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