Chelsea: part-exchange for Lukaku; £38m defender close; long-serving midfielder to stay
Chelsea are not giving up in their chase for their former striker, as the Telegraph report that the Blues are making a renewed offer for Romelu Lukaku. They now hope that by including Loic Remy in the deal, they may be able to persuade Ronald Koeman to part with their Belgian top scorer in both of the last two seasons.
Since any hopes of a move for Alvaro Morata disappeared, it has been clear that Lukaku is Antonio Conte’s first choice target, but the club are reluctant to meet the Toffees’ £75 million demands in financial terms alone, partly to avoid the embarrassment of paying nearly triple what they received for him just two seasons ago.
Remy was largely expected to leave Stamford Bridge in January in search of first-team football, and now with new striker options added, he has only moved further down the pecking order. Whilst a talented goal-scorer, he has proven not to be good enough to displace an out of form Diego Costa and has struggled for any game time at all.
As such, a move would suit Remy and Chelsea, so this may be the perfect deal for all parties, though he is unlikely to provide Everton with all the striking power they need.
In defence, a move for Kalidou Koulibaly is nearing completion according to the Express. They claim that The Blues’ bid of £38 million is highly likely to be accepted by Napoli, but they are still waiting to hear back from the Italian club who maintain a faint hope of retaining their Senegalese centre-back.
Koulibaly was one of the first targets identified by Conte upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge, with defensive reinforcements and a long term replacement for John Terry made a top priority.
Conte has monitored his progress over the past few seasons and is now keen to work with him in London, where he will bring strength and a reputation for being a good reader of the game. Whilst he is not quite in the John Terry mould, he will certainly add strength in depth to the Blues’ back line.
Chelsea will also retain their holding midfield John Obi Mikel, or as he is now known Mikel John Obi, if reports in the Daily Star are accurate. They claim that the player has stated that he will remain at Stamford Bridge after yet another summer of speculation as to whether or not the Nigeria midfielder will be sold or not.
With game time increasingly hard to come by for Mikel, it had been rumoured that he may move on with offers from Turkey and elsewhere, but that now seems not to be the case. For Chelsea, it seems as though there are few to no clubs willing to pay his wage demands.
All recent bosses in the Bridge’s dug-out have appeared happy to allow him to move on, but with no luck to date. However, he will add cover in midfield, even if there is little need with the arrival of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic seemingly going nowhere.
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