Despite making strong bids/overtures towards the likes of Roma’s Antonio Rudiger, Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayako and Juventus’ Alex Sandro, a number of reputed English media outlets including the Telegraph are reporting that none of these defensive-oriented players are not Antonio Conte’s number one target. That honour goes to Everton’s, and Belgium’s, hulking superstar forward
The Italian is said to have instructed his management to go all out in pursuit of Lukaku, even if that means meeting Everton’s asking price of €114 million, or £100 million. If this were to materialise, it would smash not only Chelsea’s transfer record but the world record currently held by Lukaku’s pal – Manchester United’s Paul Pogba (£89.6 million).
In case you didn’t know
Romelu Menama Lukaku started off his youth career with Rupel Boom in his native Belgium (aged just 6) before he moved on to KFC Wintam, Lierse and Anderlecht where he graduated to the senior team in 2008-09 aged just 16. He played 98 times for the Belgian giants – scoring a quite amazing 41 goals – before choosing Chelsea from a bevy of superstar clubs and moving to Stamford Bridge in 2011-12.
That was the start of an unhappy relationship with the Blues, he appeared just 12 times for them (without scoring), before being farmed out to West Bromwich Albion where he was an instant hit, scoring 17 in 38. The next year he made just 3 appearances for Chelsea (again, without scoring) before moving on loan to Everton where once again he scored bucketloads – 16 in 32.
The following season, the Toffees broke their own transfer record to sign him for £28 million and he’s repayed them and then some by scoring 20, 25, and 26 goals in the following three seasons.
It’s this rich vein of form that’s got Chelsea interested all over again
The heart of the matter
After telling Diego Costa that his services are no longer required, Conte is desperate for a hitman of repute to lead his line and he’s confident Chelsea won’t be making a mistake in swallowing their pride and going back to the player they seemingly never wanted to keep. It’s not just Chelsea, either… Everton’s recent spending spree (Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Sandro Ramirez, et al) could well be predicated on the belief that there will be a considerable amount of money flowing in from the proposed Lukaku sale.
The belligerent Belgian in full flow is quite a sight:
Is he worth 100 million?