Chelsea have three players Inter Milan may accept in Romelu Lukaku swap deal
Will Chelsea sign a striker this summer?
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is in desperate need of new attacking reinforcements ahead of the new season. The 47-year-old led the Blues to a sensational Champions League triumph in May, just four months after replacing Frank Lampard at the helm, but his options at the top of the pitch remain somewhat limited for a side with high hopes of winning the Premier League title at the next time of asking.
Olivier Giroud, who impressed on plenty of occasions when called upon to deputise last season, has already swapped Stamford Bridge for the San Siro after completing a £1million move to AC Milan earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Tammy Abraham has fallen drastically out of favour since Tuchel’s arrival and is reportedly on Arsenal’s radar as the Gunners seek a new striker of their own.
Chelsea have also been unable to count on the goals of Timo Werner, who has struggled to hit the ground running since joining the club from RB Leipzig a year ago.
Kai Havertz was forced to lead the line for Chelsea during the latter stages of last season, but the versatile German is not the out-and-out striker that Tuchel will be hoping can fire the west London outfit to a first domestic triumph since 2017.
Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland has been heavily linked with the Blues in recent months, but a move for Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku is also believed to be an option under consideration.
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The Belgian marksman is open to returning to Chelsea this summer, according to a report from Eurosport, with the newly-crowned European champions said to be working on a move for his services behind closed doors.
However, Inter may be reluctant to sell any more of their best players after seeing Achraf Hakimi join Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month.
Any successful bid for Lukaku will likely need to be in excess of £100m unless Chelsea can tempt the Italian giants into slashing their asking price by agreeing a player-plus-cash deal.
It seems as though Abraham would be the obvious candidate, with the 23-year-old still very much a handy operator in spite of Tuchel’s decision to leave him out in the cold.
He only made a handful of appearances during the second half of last season but finished the campaign as Chelsea’s joint-top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions.
The Blues reportedly value Abraham at around £40m, with his inclusion as a sweetener in any deal for Lukaku potentially able to solve two problems at once by getting the former off the club’s books.
Chelsea could also decide to send Hakim Ziyech packing in order to seal a cut-price move for Inter’s star man, with the Moroccan winger having endured a difficult first season at Stamford Bridge.
He found himself left out of the starting side on plenty of occasions throughout the previous campaign and has been linked with a quick-fire exit as a result of his muted performances.
If the Blues manage to convince Inter to accept the services of Ziyech and a sizeable chunk of money in exchange for Lukaku, it could prove to be a shrewd piece of business with the ability to benefit all parties involved.
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Tiemoue Bakayoko, who spent last season on loan with Napoli, is another Chelsea outcast that could be included in a part-exchange deal.
The defensive midfielder seems unlikely to play a significant role for the Blues this time around, with AC Milan said to be interested in securing his signature on a permanent basis.
However, Bakayoko could instead serve as a useful bargaining chip as part of an attempt to land Lukaku, but it remains to be seen whether Inter would be looking for another striker in order to fill the void left by the departure of their prized asset.
A player of Lukaku’s calibre has been the missing piece of the jigsaw for the Blues since the departure of Diego Costa, who helped fire the club to Premier League glory four years ago.
Although Chelsea will face a tricky task in engineering a move for his signature this summer, it would be silly not to explore all avenues in striking a deal with Inter, with the influence of a world-class attacking talisman able to go a long way to restoring former glories at Stamford Bridge.
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