X

Chelsea Transfer News: £90M John Stones, Romelu Lukaku Double-Raid Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2016

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

Chelsea are reportedly planning to move for Everton duo John Stones and Romelu Lukaku in the summer as they look to make major changes to their struggling squad.

According to David Woods in the Daily Star, Chelsea are “desperate to land” the two, who together are valued at around £90 million.

Woods added that Chelsea are prepared to “lose face” and move for £50 million-rated striker Lukaku just two years after they sold him to the Toffees for £28 million, and included no buyback clause in the deal.

Meanwhile, Stones remains a key centre-back target despite his struggles in 2015-16. The Blues failed with several offers for him last summer, the last of which was worth £38 million, per Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail.

According to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones, incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte sees a new striker as one of his key summer purchases:

Lukaku would be an ideal signing to bolster the Blues front line, which is currently over-reliant on Diego Costa.

The Belgian 22-year-old already has bags of Premier League experience—he made his debut in the division back in 2011—and has made it to double figures for top-flight goals in each of the last four seasons, per WhoScored.com.

Despite Everton’s current malaise—they lie 11th in the Premier League with manager Roberto Martinez under huge pressure—Lukaku has enjoyed his best season yet in 2015-16, netting 18 goals in 33 league appearances.

He is a menace running with the ball at defenders and uses his physicality well to cause havoc in opposition penalty areas.

Given that Costa’s back-ups are currently an out-of-form Radamel Falcao, an unmotivated Loic Remy and an under-played Alexandre Pato, Lukaku would improve Chelsea’s front line next season.

Although Everton will demand a huge transfer fee, he may well be worth it considering he is not even close to the prime of his career yet.

Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial (R) takes on Everton's English defender John Stones (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 3
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Stones’ star has fallen somewhat since Chelsea made their numerous moves for him last summer as poor form and basic errors have plagued his 2015-16 campaign.

However, the 21-year-old has the makings of a top-class centre-back, and Chelsea clearly still see him as a potential long-term successor to John Terry in their squad—with Kurt Zouma, also 21, as his potential partner.

ESPN’s Alex Shaw believes Stones is being misused at Everton and should move on for the sake of his career:

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

John Stones needs to go sharpish. He's outstanding. He's better than this. Leave for someone who knows what they're doing.

A summer switch from Goodison Park to Stamford Bridge could be advantageous for all parties, as Everton will get a significant sum out of the deal also.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Chelsea’s dire 2015-16 season has been how poor they have been at the back.

Previously the tightest defence in the Premier League when winning the title in 2014-15, the Blues have conceded 45 goals in 33 matches this season.

They need to solve the problem, and bringing in Stones could be the answer, as he has huge potential and could form an excellent centre-back partnership with Zouma, which could be the core of the side for years to come.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.