Chelsea have reportedly lined up approaches for former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke and Everton forward Romelu Lukaku to replace Diego Costa in the summer.
The Guardian have reported that Chelsea are considering moves for former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke and Everton’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku, in case Diego Costa ends up leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Costa’s future has been up in the air since reports of a training ground bust-up with Antonio Conte emerged, with the Spaniard even being dropped for the 3-0 away win over Leicester City. Costa had his head turned by a big offer from the Chinese Super League, an offer which would have made him the highest paid player in the world, but an offer Chelsea ended up refusing.
Costa has since returned to the training ground, but Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are reportedly keen on a summer move for the Spaniard. The Blaugrana are looking for a striker to add to their ranks, with Luis Suarez about to turn 30 and Paco Alcacer failing to impress.
Atletico Madrid have almost constantly been linked with a move for their former player, and with Griezmann now rumoured to be on his way out in the summer, it could be the perfect time for a reunion, especially with Los Rojiblancos moving into their new stadium.
It looks like Chelsea are already preparing for life without Diego Costa, with summer bids lined up for Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke and Everton forward Romelu Lukaku.
Benteke has performed admirably since switching Liverpool for Palace, with eight goals and one assist for the Eagles thus far. The player was linked to Chelsea when he was at Aston Villa and the Blues might rekindle their interest, with Costa looking to leave.
Romelu Lukaku has long been linked with a move back to Chelsea. The player joined Everton for a club record £28 million from Chelsea in 2014, and has established himself as one of the most prolific and enterprising strikers around.
Twelve goals and four assists for Everton in the Premier League this season is a testament to his brilliance. Lukaku is likely to cost much more than Benteke, with Chelsea having their near £60 million bid rejected by the Toffees this past summer.
Everton have improved financially as well, thanks to the takeover by former Arsenal stakeholder Farhad Moshiri, and Chelsea may have a tough time convincing them to sell.
On the other hand, Benteke has already been linked with a move away from Crystal Palace just months into his career at Selhurst Park. Big Sam is unlikely to part with the striker in the midst of a relegation battle, but a summer move for the Belgian international is definitely on the cards.
If Costa does end up leaving in the summer, Chelsea would probably prefer Lukaku over Benteke. The former Blues player is already more or less familiar with the squad, personnel and the surroundings at Stamford Bridge. His goals per game ratio is also better than Benteke.
Ultimately Chelsea could decide to go for a different option altogether, depending on who becomes available in the summer. This is a story that is too early to call and we shall see which way it moves.