Chelsea Transfer News: Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Top Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2016

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea reacts after conceding the second goal during the Emirates FA Cup sixth round match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on March 12, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will reportedly "jettison" Thibaut Courtois but is hoping to keep Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge and bring back former Blues man Romelu Lukaku.

That's according to the Mirror's Adrian Kajumba, who noted Conte will replace Courtois with Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Regarding Hazard, the club "fear his head has been turned by interest from Paris Saint-Germain" but aim to see him stay put. 

Courtois fuelled speculation he could depart Stamford Bridge in comments he made during the international break. He was asked if he would be with the Blues next season and told RTBF (h/t Sky Sports' Peter Gilbert): "I do not say yes, I do not say no. I do not know: I still have three years on my contract. We must see what Chelsea want."

The Belgian proved himself in a successful three-year spell on loan with Atletico Madrid and returned to Chelsea as one of the best 'keepers in world football, unseating Petr Cech as their No. 1. 

After allowing Cech to leave for Arsenal last summer, Chelsea no longer have a top-class back-up to fall back on, though Forster has proved himself an outstanding talent in his own right. He made two excellent saves on Sunday to prevent Leicester City from increasing their lead, per Sky Sports Football:

BT Sport pundit Glenn Hoddle is anticipating a busy summer transfer window at Stamford Bridge and believes the club are right to want to keep Hazard:

The 25-year-old has endured a torrid campaign with no goals and just four assists to his name in 26 Premier League appearances.

Football writer Liam Canning noted the contrast in his form this season compared with last year:

Nevertheless, prior to this year, the playmaker had emerged as one of the brightest talents in the Premier League thanks to his ability to change games with pace, skill and creativity, so if Chelsea are to return to their usual position higher up the table next season, a resurgent Hazard is key.

Meanwhile, among the manager's targets is Lukaku, whom Everton "want £60 million for." Per the Daily Star (h/t Eurosport), the Italy boss is hoping to land the striker prior to the European Championship and will test the Toffees' resolve with a bid of £50 million.

Like Hazard, he could also transform their outlook. He has shone at Goodison Park after the Blues allowed him to leave for £28 million and has racked up 25 goals in all competitions this season, blending power and technique with a deadly finish.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 03:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 3, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Should Chelsea prise him away from Everton, he could be leading the line alongside Diego Costa, whom Conte "will hold talks with" in a bid to convince the reportedly wantaway striker to stay put, per Kajumba.

Per Eurosport, Costa's desire to leave—due to unhappiness at the criticism his poor discipline has receivedhas been widely reported, with the Guardian's Dominic Fifield, the TimesGary Jacob and the Telegraph's Matt Law all writing as much. Each of those papers also reported that Conte is hoping to change Costa's mind. So too did the Daily Express:

Indeed, according to WhoScored.com, the Spain international has stood out among his Blues team-mates this season for the wrong reasons:

He has also bagged 15 goals and 10 assists, the majority of which have come under Guus Hiddink after a difficult start to the season under Jose Mourinho.

From a goalscoring perspective, the forward is certainly worth hanging on to, but the concerns over his discipline are valid and not likely to end anytime soon barring a remarkable turnaround in Costa's approach to the game. If they are truly the cause of his unhappiness, Conte might face a difficult task in convincing him to stay.

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