Chelsea: No official Lukaku bid; two offered in swap deal; Costa latest
After what seemed like a whole summer long of speculation linking Chelsea striker Diego Costa with a return to Spain to rejoin his former side Atletico Madrid, the Express are reporting on claims that there is now interest from Italy in the Spaniard. Reports stated that the Blues turned down a £51 million bid for the 27-year-old from Atletico last week, but now Napoli are preparing a mega-offer whilst Inter Milan monitor his situation.
Chelsea are reluctant to sell, particularly as Antonio Conte wants Costa to form part of his plans, but Napoli have just received an Italian record fee of £75 million for Gonzalo Higuain and are desperate to find a partner for new signing Arkadiusz Milik, so a deal may be struck. It seems that Costa is desperate to leave, and it may soon become a matter of where he will be going, for how much, and when.
Any such move would add urgency to a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, with the Telegraph reporting that the Merseyside club claim that they have still not received any official bid for the Belgian. Any deal would have to meet Everton’s demands of a valuation of at least £70 million, and Ronald Koeman is believed to be reluctant to allow his prized asset to leave without a replacement lined up.
Lukaku, who suffered a nasty heel injury in a friendly defeat to RCD Espanyol on Saturday, will be hoping to recover quickly as he is keen to return to Stamford Bridge, where he feels he has unfinished business after he spent much of his last spell at the club out on loan. Now proven in the Premier League, Lukaku would fit in well at Stamford Bridge, both as a partner or as a replacement for Diego Costa, and surely it is only a matter of time until the Blues make an offer to the Toffees.
The delay in making an offer is believed to be in part down to Everton’s high asking price for the striker, which Chelsea are reluctant to meet purely in financial terms having already spent big on N’Golo Kante, Michy Batshuayi and others. That may be why the Sun claim that the offer being prepared by Chelsea will include Loic Remy and Asmir Begovic.
Remy would be an immediate replacement for Everton, which may ease their fears over allowing the 23-year-old to depart Goodison Park without any strength in depth to cover for his absence. However, Remy is a completely different kind of player, and Koeman may not feel that he is an adequate replacement to the extent that he can allow Lukaku to leave so close to the start of the season. However, Remy’s future at Stamford Bridge looks to be short-lived, with it highly likely that he will depart before the end of the month.
The club have been keen on Asmir Begovic all summer, if rumours are to be believed, with Tim Howard leaving the club and Koeman keen on bringing in reinforcements. For Chelsea, Begovic has done a good job as second choice cover, but are more than awareness that he does not provide much of a challenge to Thibaut Courtois as first choice in goal for the London outfit. The Serbian is keen to experience first team football again, and a move to Everton which sees Lukaku head the other way could be ideal for all parties.
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