Chelsea are set to cash in on Romelu Lukaku this summer, with Jose Mourinho preferring the goalscoring output of Diego Costa or Radamel Falcao, according to reports.
Rob Shepherd of the Daily Mail has the details:
Chelsea will sell Romelu Lukaku in the summer.
Despite Lukaku’s success on loan at Everton this season following a prolific year when farmed out to West Bromwich Albion, Jose Mourinho does not want to give the Belgian international striker a new deal.
Mourinho refuses to accept he made a mistake by letting Lukaku go on loan this season.
Should Chelsea sell Romelu Lukaku?
Shepherd then suggests Costa and Falcao are Mourinho's "prime targets," as the manager is "intent on signing one, possibly two" forwards at the end of the season.
Lukaku has proved to be an excellent Premier League forward over the past two years and can't have done much more to earn an opportunity at Stamford Bridge. The powerful Belgian has netted 10 goals in 21 appearances this campaign, following up last season's 17-goal haul for West Brom in excellent fashion, per WhoScored.com.
The 20-year-old's successful strikes aren't limited to lesser opponents. He recently notched against Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, keeping Roberto Martinez's side in the hunt for a top-four place. Although that is looking unlikely, Lukaku's presence is sure to be missed when he exits Goodison Park at the end of the season.
"It's time for me to play Champions League and that's what I want," said Lukaku in February, per Jack Wilson of the Daily Star. "When I turn 21 (in May) I'll have been a professional for five years, I need this in my evolution."
Mike Whalley of ESPNFC.com suggested that Chelsea will be looking to receive around £23 million for Lukaku's services back, a sum that is likely to increase if he performs admirably at the 2014 World Cup.
His sale would drum up funds for the likes of Costa or Falcao, who would provide a more instant impact.
|Name||Team||Apps.||Goals||Assists||Average Goals Per Game||Percentage of Team League Goals Scored|
|Romelu Lukaku||Everton||19 (2)||10||5||0.43||25%|
|Diego Costa||Atletico Madrid||26 (1)||22||3||0.81||34.38%|
|Radamel Falcao||Monaco||16 (1)||9||0||0.53||18.3%|
While Falcao's numbers are limited due to his serious injury, Costa emerges as the most impressive forward out of the talented trio. The Brazilian-born Spanish international continues to rack up vital goals for an Atletico Madrid team that is pushing for the La Liga title.
He is extremely well suited to Mourinho's tactics. Costa possesses the pace and power to cause any defence problems, but, most importantly, his insistence on working hard adheres to a Mourinho mold that has risen to prominence this year. Chelsea are drilled to defend and attack as a unit, a style Costa can easily slot into.
Thore Haugstad, editor of the official 2014 FIFA World Cup magazine, also believes the 25-year-old adheres to the current Blues setup:
Chelsea so well organised; never caught off balance. Imagine if they had, say, Diego Costa up front.— Thore Haugstad (@Haugstad1006) March 15, 2014
Lukaku is more of a target man. He is less mobile and tailored to waiting for support once he holds the ball up. Falcao is similar in this regard—he isn't the type of player to continually skin onrushing defenders—but he would provide an effective spearhead in front of creative types Eden Hazard, Willian and Andre Schurrle.
As posted by 101 Great Goals, should Lukaku be offloaded, he will never receive the chance to follow in the footsteps of previous hero Didier Drogba:
Romelu Lukaku just posted this on Instagram. The kid loves Drogba! pic.twitter.com/mhcAQj156A— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 10, 2014
Lukaku's potential departure would split Chelsea fans down the middle. Many would base their judgements on whom Mourinho brings in to replace the exciting young forward. Lukaku is expected to remain at the top level for at least another decade, so his sale is undoubtedly risky.
Should Costa or Falcao arrive, there will be few complaints. If Lukaku replicates the tremendous form of Daniel Sturridge after leaving West London, many will be forced to consider what could have been.