Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia will look to fund a big-money move for Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku by selling no less than five players in the summer transfer window, according to reports. The Blues have been heavily linked with the 28-year-old in recent weeks, with Thomas Tuchel in need of an out-and-out striker to lead the line next season.
Chelsea have been forced to deploy Kai Havertz as a makeshift centre-forward in recent outings, with Timo Werner struggling to live up to expectations and Tammy Abraham seemingly out in the cold.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud will be out of contract next month and could well move on as he approaches his 35th birthday.
The Stamford Bridge are said to be keen admirers of Tottenham’s wantaway striker Harry Kane, but Daniel Levy is believed to be vehemently opposed to the idea of selling to a bitter rival.
Manchester City appear to be leading the race for the 27-year-old’s signature, with Manchester United also keeping a close eye on the situation.
Chelsea will likely be forced to explore other avenues as a result, with former Blues man Lukaku near the top of Tuchel’s summer wish list.
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Granovskaia is preparing to step up her pursuit of the Belgian marksman after Antonio Conte left his post as Inter boss on Wednesday, according to the Sunday World.
Lukaku has thrived under the 51-year-old’s guidance, firing the San Siro club to their first Serie A title since 2010 with 24 goals in 36 appearances this season.
However, Inter are looking to raise around £80million in player sales this summer, and Conte’s departure appears to have accelerated the possibility of Lukaku following him out of the exit door.
The report claims that Chelsea will aim to bankroll an approach for his services by offloading Abraham, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
All five players have struggled to make their mark since Tuchel’s arrival in January and have been deemed surplus to requirements.
The Blues are hoping that a £65m bid will be enough to tempt Inter into parting ways with Lukaku in order to aid the Italian club’s precarious financial situation.
The forward was, of course, sold by Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2014 after failing to work his way into the Portuguese manager’s plans at Chelsea.
Granovskaia will also be aiming to recruit a new winger ahead of next season, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Eden Hazard of Real Madrid reportedly on the club’s radar.
It is claimed that the former is very much a target for the Champions League finalists, but the latter has not been earmarked as a priority signing despite suggestions that he is eager to return to his old stomping ground.
Real are expected to listen to offers for Hazard in the coming months after a largely unimpressive spell in the Spanish capital since leaving the Blues two years ago.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson recently suggested that Chelsea should not hesitate to bring the winger back to Stamford Bridge if the opportunity arises, backing him to regain his prolific form of old upon returning to the Premier League.
“If Hazard ever gets back to the form he was in at Chelsea, he can cause havoc,” said the former Arsenal midfielder.
“But I just don’t see it. Sometimes you need to start well when you make a big move and he didn’t, and it’s all gone downhill for him.
‘But Chelsea would take him back. No doubt. Before he left, he was on a different planet. It’s sad to see him not doing it in Madrid.”
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