Rumour reel: Chelsea special
Frank Monkhouse | 24 May 2017
Who is Costa’s long-term replacement
With the 2016/17 Premier League season now in the books, Chelsea turn their attentions to the last game of their season, Saturday’s FA Cup final with Arsenal at Wembley. Despite that mammoth tie, the Diego Costa story, which dominated headlines during the winter transfer window, is back.
It’s widely-believed that Blues scoring sensation Diego Costa will be off during the fair weather, a big-money move to China looking like the most-likely option for the Spanish sensation, and that will leave a massive whole in the champions’ attack.
The boys from the Bridge aren’t short of cash to get a replacement in, and they have already been linked with just about every top striker in European football. But is their truth in any of it? Who will lead the line next season as Conte targets two in-a-row?
Lukaku ready for a return
Romelu Lukaku is a real option, with the Everton striker proving his worth this year at Goodison Park. The 24-year-old Belgian wouldn’t be the Hollywood name fans want, and certainly wouldn’t rate as the biggest star in the dressing room, but he scores goals, plenty of them, and that’s what the side need going forward, certainly domestically. Lukaku banged in 25, and led the race for the golden boot for much of 2017, before being pipped at the post by Harry Kane. Certainly no shame in that. There was only four goals in it at the final count – four behind one of the best strikers in the world. He is, of course, a former Chelsea employee, leaving the club for Everton in 2014. Would they be willing to stump up for him back?
Chelsea and United battle over Griezmann
Much has been made of the rumoured interest from the Londoners in Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann. The French star, capped by his national side from U19 level onwards, has, again, been a standout for Atletico this season, and was a scorer for his side in a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. What Lukaku lacks in experience at that level, Griezmann has in abundance, and is no stranger to a match-winning goal either, proving the difference when Leicester were in Spain at the quarter-final stage. Man Utd could throw a spanner in the works, with Antoine telling reporters the chances of him moving to Old Trafford in the summer is 6/10.
Sanchez wants to stay in London
It was a tough season for Arsenal fans, could their London rivals be about to stick the boot in by nicking Alexis Sanchez? He finished third in the scoring charts, netting 24, and that’s not to be sniffed at, given the form of his side. In Sanchez they would get the best of both worlds, a player already settled in England and English football, who can be relied upon to consistently put the ball in the net to win points. He also scored against PSG and Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and is expected to be part of a summer clear-out at the Emirates. Dropped a cryptic clue earlier this year when saying he’d love to stay in London, but has already rejected new deals put to him by his current employers.