Thomas Tuchel already has Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku replacement but faces huge transfer decision

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Romelu Lukaku is pushing for a move away from Chelsea this summer after just one season back at the club, football.london understands. The Belgian striker scored 15 times in all competitions throughout the 2021/22 season for the Blues but is looking to embark on a new chapter in his career.

Many thought Lukaku was the missing ingredient for Chelsea to mount a serious title challenge when he arrived for close to £ 100million last summer. “They [Chelsea] are going to be serious this season, “Gary Neville said on Sky Sports in mid-August.

“They were last season, but really serious in terms of the Premier League. Lukaku makes them very, very dangerous. For Chelsea, he will score a ton of goals. He is perfect for that club.

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“I’ve got no doubts with Romelu Lukaku that he will go into that Chelsea team and make them real challengers for the Premier League title. He’s a game-changer for them in terms of top four, to really push Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United in terms of going for that title. “

However, that was not the case. Chelsea ended up 18 points adrift of Liverpool, who missed out on the title by a single point to Manchester City on the final day.

Lukaku’s second spell at Chelsea, if he does indeed leave the club, will be marred by that brutal interview with Sky Italia in December of 2021. The Belgian spoke to the Italian media without the authorization from Chelsea and then apologized for his actions.

In truth, it has been a disaster. There is a strong claim to be made that Lukaku has been the worst signing of the Premier League era. When everything is taken into consideration: money, expectation, excitement etc. – then a real argument could be made for just that.

Inter Milan wants to re-sign the Chelsea striker, but they simply can not afford him. The Blues won’t want to lose too much of the £ 97.5m they paid for him last summer. Also, a loan deal is complicated, with Lukaku earning £ 325,000-a-week, which could prove to be a stumbling block in Inter’s pursuit of the Belgium striker.

This summer, Chelsea will need to go out in the transfer market and act. That’s whether Lukaku leaves or stays put.

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The club retain an interest in Ousmane Dembele, who is available on a free transfer, football.london understands. Nothing is advanced yet, despite some positive signs coming out of Dembele’s camp.

Likewise, Christopher Nkunku is a target for Chelsea. The RB Leipzig attacker flourished in the Bundesliga last season but is also wanted by Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

The aforementioned French duo are both wide attackers, albeit Nkunku played through the center for Leipzig last season, so the center-forward position is one that needs attention if Lukaku leaves. They do not have to look too far in that regard.

Armando Broja spent the 2021/22 season on loan at Southampton and impressed during his time down on the south coast. The 20-year-old netted nine goals in all competitions for the Saints, attracting interest from around Europe.

football.london has been told that the likes of Southampton, Nottingham Forest and both Milan clubs all hold an interest in the young Albanian. Broja is currently training with his Albania teammates ahead of their match versus Israel on Friday as transfer speculation regarding his future hots up.

Thomas Tuchel, who is expected to be given full control of Chelsea’s transfer business this summer, now has a huge decision on his hands. Is Broja ready for the first team? Is he the man who can replace Lukaku at Chelsea?

It’s not as if Broja is returning to Chelsea to replace a striker that started every game. Far from it, in fact. Lukaku started 16 of his 26 appearances for the Blues in the Premier League last season.

The team looked more fluid in attack when Kai Havertz was in the center. That’s something Tuchel has to consider when contemplating Broja’s future next season.

Either way, the Albanian deserves to be handed an opportunity to show what he’s about during pre-season. Chelsea won’t want a repeat of Tammy Abraham.

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