An expensive Chelsea frontman is not in the Blues’ plans for next season, and Fabrizio Romano revealed two huge transfers are on the horizon that could rock Arsenal.
Despite spending well in excess of £500m on new recruits in the last two windows, a glaring hole remains in Chelsea’s squad.
An out and out centre-forward who’ll consistently breach the 20 goal a season mark has not yet been signed.
Joao Felix or Kai Havertz have generally deputised up top in 2023, though neither are likely to rack up the sort of goals tally Erling Haaland or even Harry Kane will amass.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s £10.3m arrival is proving to be a poor piece of business, with the ex-Arsenal frontman way down the pecking order at present.
£97.5m man Romelu Lukaku was expected to solve Chelsea’s problem upon arriving from Inter Milan in 2021. However, a sub-par first season saw Lukaku loaned back to Inter for the current campaign.
One school of thought suggested Lukaku could be given a second bite of the cherry back at Stamford Bridge next year.
Indeed, his loan deal in Italy does not contain an option to buy and Inter CEO, Beppe Marotta, recently confirmed Lukaku will return to west London at season’s end.
However, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Belgium’s record goalscorer does not feature in Chelsea’s plans for next season.
Instead, Chelsea will sit down with Inter officials over the summer and in what capacity they could send Lukaku back to the San Siro will be discussed.
Lukaku reportedly hopes he can remain in Milan for at least one more season. Signing him outright would require Chelsea to incur a giant loss on the £97.5m they paid less than two years ago.
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Lukaku out; new striker and central midfielder in
Elsewhere, Romano confirmed the Blues plan to sign a new central striker who’ll – hopefully – do what Lukaku never did. Romano also stressed a new central midfielder is wanted and that could be bad news for Arsenal.
“Chelsea for next season are not planning for Romelu Lukaku as a striker,” said Romano on his YouTube channel.
“From what I understand, Chelsea have among their top priorities a new midfielder. They want a new No 6 in the midfield, for sure.
“This is something that was already in the plan months ago and for sure Chelsea will go for a new midfielder in the summer.
“But also important to mention [they want] a new central striker.
“Chelsea will be in the market for a new central striker and this is why Lukaku… we will see what happens with Inter.
“But in any case they will try to find a solution. Lukaku would love to stay at Inter.”
Chelsea could torpedo Arsenal plans… again
Chelsea’s midfield hunt may be bad news for the Gunners due to the pair’s shared interest in Declan Rice.
The West Ham talisman looks destined for a move up the table at season’s end and is believed to be Arsenal’s priority midfield target.
However, Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg tweeted early on Thursday Chelsea plan to go all-out for Rice.
In his words, Chelsea are ‘definitely’ in the race for Rice and are ‘highly interested’. He added it’s ‘confirmed’ the Blues will have a say in where Rice ends up.
Chelsea hijacked Arsenal’s move for Mykhailo Mudryk in January and also outbid the Gunners for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
History may well be about to repeat itself regarding the London pair and Declan Rice.
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