Chelseas Romelu Lukaku transfer could boost Timo Werner but hinder Kai Havertz

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Chelsea’s pursuit of Romelu Lukaku could be good news for Timo Werner – but bad news for Kai Havertz. The Champions League winners have turned their attention to Inter Milan striker Lukaku having had no joy so far in prising Erling Haaland away from Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea are ready to double Romelu Lukaku’s wages to around £12.8 million a year as boss Thomas Tuchel seeks a top-class striker to lead his attack.

Inter do not want to sell the 28-year-old and are expected to demand at least £105m, having already knocked back an £88m part-exchange bid involving left-back Marcos Alonso.

However, Chelsea are banking on the fact that the Serie A club have financial problems and could be forced into a sale.

If the Premier League side do land their former player, it will ramp up the competition in their attacking ranks after they signed Werner and Havertz from RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen respectively in last summer’s transfer window.

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Both German internationals struggled in their first season in the English top flight, with Werner coming under the most scrutiny after scoring just 12 goals in all competitions, as his finishing let him down on so many occasions.

But the £48m man could be the player who benefits most from the potential arrival of Lukaku – while Havertz’s place in the squad would come under further pressure as he looks to justify his £72m price tag.

Werner could play off Lukaku, utilising his speed by running in behind opposing defences in a similar way to how Arsenal target Lautaro Martinez combines with the striker for Inter.

The arrival of Lukaku as a traditional No9 would relieve Werner of much of the goalscoring expectation at Stamford Bridge, with the Belgium striker having scored 30-plus goals in each of his two seasons at the San Siro.

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But having Lukaku leading the line could marginalise Havertz, scorer of the only goal in last season’s Champions League final triumph over Manchester City.

The 22-year-old’s best position appears to be as a false nine – but a move for Lukaku to Stamford Bridge could limit Havertz’s opportunities to play in such a position, especially if Werner hits form.

That could see Havertz falling into the same trap he was in under Frank Lampard’s tenure, when he was often played slightly deeper as a No8 or shunted out to the wings.

Tuchel previously described the former Leverkusen ace as a “hybrid player” – and the Germany star will need to call upon all his versatility to carve out a role in the Chelsea attack.

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“He is a unique player,” Tuchel said of Havertz back in February. “It’s not so clear where he needs to settle – does he need to settle on one special position? Or is he kind of a hybrid player?

“Today, I would say he’s in between a nine and a 10, something in between. 

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“He’s very comfortable in the box, he’s very comfortable in high positions, he’s very good in offensive headers, he has good timing to arrive in the box, good finishing, good composure in the box, around the box, and very comfortable in high positions so between nine and 10.”

Of course it won’t just be Havertz and Werner competing for a places in Chelsea’s line-up if they land Lukaku – with Mason Mount looking to build on an impressive season, while Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi will also be out to impress Tuchel.

But whether or not Havertz manages to cement a regular role, what is clear is that if Lukaku does sign, the West London side will have a frightening array of offensive options.

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