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Chelsea have been robbed of their chance to re-sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton, after reports emerged that fellow Premier League giants Manchester United had agreed a £75 million fee with the Toffees for the sale of their striker. The club even officially announced that a deal has been agreed and it is only subject to a medical before the Belgian joins them.
Lukaku was the Premier League champions’ top target in the summer, after manager Antonio Conte had told current striker Diego Costa that he is not needed, via a text message. The 23-year old Lukaku, who was with the Blues for four years, did not get enough opportunities at the Stamford Bridge to showcase his talents, and has grown into one of the most lethal marksmen in the Premier League. This past season, he finished as the league’s second top scorer behind Harry Kane, with 25 goals, helping Everton to a 7th-place finish.
With Costa’s future in the dark, the West Londoners had earmarked the Belgian international as the man to lead the line for the upcoming seasons, but now that move seems to be dead and buried, following United’s swift action. With Lukaku all but gone from their clutches, here are three alternatives for Chelsea to consider in place of the burly Belgian.
The Torino striker has been on the radar of Chelsea for a while now, but his high €100million release clause seemed to have stopped them from acting on their interest. However, with their top target set to move elsewhere, they may well be forced to reconsider their stance on the Italian.
Having moved to Torino only a couple of years ago, Belotti really came to the fore in the 2016/17 campaign as he took the whole of Italy by storm with his goal-scoring prowess. The 23-year old finished with 28 goals from 38 games in all competitions and chalked up 8 assists to his name as well. A good finisher who can score all type of goals, Belotti will be a good fit to the way Chelsea play. And at just 23, he has plenty of scope for growth and can grow with the Blues.
The Bundesliga top-scorer last season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may also be available in the summer, after Borussia Dortmund CEO Hanz-Joachim Watzke hinted that the club would consider a sale if the right offer came along (Independent).
The 28-year old striker has been scoring for fun in Germany in the past few years and has truly established himself as one of the best forwards across Europe. Last season, the Gabon international scored 40 goals in 41 games in all competitions. He was reportedly expected to join PSG, but a move fell through. A move to the lucrative Chinese Premier League was touted as well, but there has been no progress on that front either. Chelsea should look to exploit this and make a move for the striker at the earliest.
The 30-year old striker might not be the most attractive option on the list, but there are no questions that Edinson Cavani is one of the most prolific hitmen across Europe.
After having been under the shadows of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the last few years at PSG, the Uruguayan international really came to the fore last season, finishing with a brilliant tally of 49 goals from 50 games in all competitions. His tally of 35 goals in the Ligue1 was the highest and also the second-highest in all leagues across Europe – only behind Barcelona’s Leo Messi. Extremely strong in the air, a good finisher and someone who works his socks off for his team, he will be a perfect fit for Conte’ Chelsea.
Age might be an issue and the fact that he recently signed a new deal with the Paris club will prove to be a stumbling block. But with Unai Emery looking to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco (Metro), Cavani might be forced to think about his future.