World Football

Chelsea Transfer News: Romelu Lukaku Blow, Latest on Miranda, Eliaquim Mangala

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Romelu Lukaku of Belgium celebrates scoring his team's second goal in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

Romelu Lukaku's future continues to look uncertain for next season as Atletico Madrid have reportedly passed on taking him to Spain on loan.

The Chelsea striker has yet to spend any real time in the Blues first team but has impressed in recent seasons in loan spells to West Brom and Everton.

Speculation continues to mount on whether he will again be loaned out from Stamford Bridge next term but Atleti have passed on purchasing the Belgian and also refused a loan deal, according to Marca:

The Atletico de Madrid board have all but ruled out bringing in Romelu Lukaku, who had been high up on the club's hitlist. The 'Rojiblancos' were initially eyeing a permanent swoop - Chelsea's €30m price tag put paid to this idea - and were then toying with the possibility of a one-year loan deal.

Currently in Brazil with the Belgium squad at the World Cup, Lukaku was poor in the group stages but came on in the last-16 tie with the USA to set up one goal and score another, effectively seeing the Europeans through, per the Mirror's John Cross:

He bagged 15 goals in 31 Premier League appearances last season at Everton, per WhoScored.com, and he could be a valuable asset to Chelsea who are weak in the striker department, despite the recent signing of Diego Costa.

However, it remains to be seen whether he will be playing his football in west London next season.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 22:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea and Miranda of Club Atletico de Madrid battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea at Vicente Calderon Stadium on April 2
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

One player who Chelsea and boss Jose Mourinho reportedly do want at Stamford Bridge next season is Atletico centre-back Miranda, who is also wanted by Manchester United.

According to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star, the Blues are eager to sign the Brazilian from Diego Simeone's side and fill the gap left by David Luiz's departure for £50 million to PSG:

Manchester United are interested in the Brazilian centre-half, who has a £24m release clause in his contract. [...]

But the 29-year-old would reportedly prefer to join Chelsea - not fallen giants United.

Miranda was a key player for Atletico last season as they won La Liga—conceding fewer goals than any other side—and he played every minute as they made it to the final of the Champions League, per UEFA's Paul Saffer:

As a replacement for Luiz, he is a fine proposition, as he is undoubtedly a better defender than his compatriot and a more commanding presence in the back line.  

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 04:  Eliaquim Mangala of Porto in action during the Group A UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Porto at Parc des Princes on December 4, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Ima
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Equally, Porto's Eliaquim Mangala would be a fine addition to the Blues defence and he is reportedly eager to make the switch to Stamford Bridge.

However, according to George Scott of the Daily Star, Chelsea's Premier League rivals Manchester City have already had a £32 million bid accepted by the Portuguese club for Mangala:

City boss Manuel Pellegrini has been tracking the central defender for almost a year and has identified him as the perfect partner for captain Vincent Kompany.

City now face an anxious wait to see if Chelsea make a move, with Jose Mourinho also keen.

Mangala, who has two years left on his contract, is believed to prefer a move to Chelsea but the Blues are yet to make their move.

The 23-year-old Frenchman has previously expressed his eagerness to move to the Premier League, per Scott's piece:

It is true that I love the Premier League because it is a spectacular championship.

Every player wants to move to bigger clubs. I am an ambitious player and team I choose must be one that allows me to win titles.

A fast and powerful centre-back, Mangala's physicality would be a fine addition to the Chelsea squad, especially with John Terry nearing the end of his career.

With his being so young he is a fine prospect and could be a long-term player for the Blues. Thus Mourinho would be well advised to pip City for his signature, especially considering the player's eagerness to join Chelsea. 

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