Romelu Lukaku could join Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge in a new look strikeforce.
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Anderlecht have claimed they shunned renewed interest from Chelsea for highly-rated starlet Romelu Lukaku during the transfer window.
The 17-year-old is one of the most sought-after young players in the world. Already a full international with Belgium, he is in his second season in Anderlecht’s first team having hit 15 goals last term.
Chelsea have long been thought to be leading the chase, with almost every major club in Europe on his trail.
The Blues have courted Lukaku for a number of years, and he openly admits they are his favourite side – although he also insists that will have no bearing on his future plans.
Manchester City joined the chase for him in January as they asked to be kept informed of any developments, but now Anderlecht claim Chelsea again came calling.
“Chelsea wanted to buy this winter,” said Anderlecht general manager Herman Van Holsbeeck told Belgian TV show Reyers – also confirming how much they would want for Lukaku.
“We said no. He is not ready, and we still keep one to two seasons. His price? 30million euros.”
SOURCE: Fox Sports
This story throws up an interesting question: was Romelu Lukaku Chelsea’s primary transfer target for January before they were put off by the high fee for a young player and moved for the proven Torres, or is he being bought as a strike partner for the Spaniard and as a replacement for Didier Drogba?
One would have to suspect the latter, though doubtlessly he will be eased into the first choice striker role.
Like many of the Chelsea squad, Drogba is in the latter years of his career. Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda, Frank Lampard, Yossi Benayoun, Paulo Ferreira and John Terry are also over 30, and though UEFA are bringing in Financial Fair Play regulations, they will still need to be replaced from somewhere.
Fortunately, barring extenuating circumstances such as career ending injury, less business will need to be done elsewhere.
When fit, Lampard is as good a player as ever, but the niggly injuries are a concern.
Josh McEachran typically plays a more advanced role for the youth teams and reserves than he tends to at the moment, and may one day fill Lampard’s shoes.
While he doesn’t possess the goal threat that Lampard does, he could perhaps be a more creative force in attacking areas, and ought to be set for a more regular starting role next season.
Gael Kakuta could prove he is ready to take Florent Malouda’s place during his loan at Fulham, and John Terry certainly has a few more years left in him at centre back.
Indeed, Lukaku could be the only piece remaining in the jigsaw of Chelsea’s squad for next season, with his purchase funded by a few sales of those players surplus to requirements.
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