Chelsea Transfer News: Romelu Lukaku a Key Part of Diego Costa Offer to Atletico

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 14, 2014

HULL, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Everton at KC Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Chelsea's bid to sign Diego Costa this summer has taken another turn after it emerged that the Blues could look to use Romelu Lukaku as part of a player-plus-cash swap.

That's according to the Daily Mail's Laurie Whitwell, who says the Belgian international may be included as a sweetener in Chelsea's attempts to meet Costa's £32 million buyout clause.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 27:  David Villa and his teammate Diego Costa of Club Atletico de Madrid look on during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Mestalla on April 27, 2014 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by David Ra
David Ramos/Getty Images

Reports have surfaced claiming Chelsea have already agreed a deal to sign Costa. However, when a reporter for Spanish television station La Sexta (h/t talkSPORT) this week told the forward of the speculation on English shores, he swiftly replied:

"Yes? People say a lot of rubbish."

After succeeding on loan at West Brom during the 2012-13 season, Lukaku left a similar impression this term while farmed out at Everton, scoring 15 goals in 29 Premier League starts, per Transfermarkt.

Jose Mourinho recently gave his views on the loan spell when speaking to the official Chelsea website, speaking positively of the forward's time away from Stamford Bridge:

Romelu Lukaku had what I call a successful loan. Sometimes players go on loan and at the end of the season we cannot find one positive reason for that loan, but Lukaku played all the time - apart from when he was injured - so he has minutes of experience in the Premier League in a good team, with a good coach and scoring his goals.

You can say the same thing about Thibaut Courtois. A successful case of loans are the ones we have to analyse. My final report will have in detail these kinds of cases. That's my job - to analyse things, have an opinion and make my decisions. I have to work with the club and respect the club's decisions, but I know clearly what I would like for next season.

Although appreciative of Lukaku's fine work at Goodison Park, the question still remains as to whether Mourinho would value that presence above that of Costa should the decision be left up to him.

The Blues boss knows the sting of Costa's prolific touch himself, having watched the Brazilian-born sensation score in the Champions League semi-final second leg that ousted his own side from the tournament. shows that while the Spanish international has been in hot scoring form this season, Costa does have his patchier runs of form:

Lukaku arrived in West London almost three years ago, managing to make just handful of appearances for the club's first team since moving from Anderlecht in 2011.

However, his time away from the English giants doesn't appear to have stunted his confidence in any way. OptaJoe displays the propensity both he and compatriot Christian Benteke have held in netting against the Premier League big guns of late:

Whitwell's report does mention that Lukaku holds understandable concerns about the racism issue that is so much more prevalent in La Liga than the English top flight, with Villarreal recently escaping serious punishment after a fan threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves.

It's undeniable that both strikers hold worldly talents in their own capacities, but it would appear Chelsea must make a decision on whether to stick or twist with the attacking assets at their disposal this summer.