Premier League • England

Chelsea to be offered tantalising striker swap that would wreck Aston Villa, Brentford plans

Strikers Romelu Lukaku and Tammy Abraham

Chelsea  could be offered the chance to swap Romelu Lukaku with an England international in a move that would leave both Aston Villa and Brentford frozen out, per reports.

Lukaku, 30, does not appear to have a future at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian was a £97.5m signing when plucked from Inter Milan in 2021, though it’s fair to say the move has not worked out.

Lukaku’s first season back at the Blues was an underwhelming one, with just 15 goals netted in 44 appearances.

The striker spent last season loaned back to Inter and was again turfed out ahead of the current campaign when joining Roma on another season-long loan.

Fabrizio Romano previously revealed Chelsea are open to cutting their losses next summer if any club bids £37m.

“There is s a fixed fee for Lukaku to leave Chelsea in summer 2024,” said Romano on October 9. “This was part of the discussion they had after he joined Roma and Lukaku will be made available for a fee around £37m.

“So any club can go there and decide to pay that fee. Chelsea have no intention of spending the whole summer negotiating as is what happened this summer with Inter Milan, with Roma, and with other clubs.

“[Chelsea] know Lukaku will return next summer because there is no buy option in the loan, so they decided to put that price (£37m) on the player.”

Now, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Lukaku may wind up making his stay in Rome permanent, though without Chelsea receiving their target fee.

Lukaku and Tammy Abraham to trade places?

It’s claimed Roma are weighing up whether to put a swap deal involving Tammy Abraham to Chelsea.

The 26-year-old was an instant hit when sold from Chelsea to Roma in 2021, scoring 27 goals in 53 matches in his first campaign.

However, second season syndrome struck and the third has been disrupted by an ACL injury that won’t see Abraham return until the new year.

By contrast, Lukaku is thriving during his loan spell so far, scoring eight goals in 11 matches across all competitions.

As such, Roma hope to either offset the £37m Chelsea want altogether or at the very least secure a huge discount by including Abraham in any agreement.

Such a move could be a win-win situation for all involved, with Chelsea also known to be hunting a new striker amid familiar woes in front of goal this season.

Whether Abraham is the calibre of striker they require – especially after suffering an ACL injury – is a question the Blues would have to consider carefully.

Nonetheless, the swap would simultaneously allow them to rid their books of Lukaku while also bring a new striker on board.

Aston Villa, Brentford both affected

The swap would also torpedo the transfer hopes of Aston Villa and Brentford who TEAMtalk has learned are courting Abraham.

Brentford have mulled moving for Abraham as their replacement for Ivan Toney who is expected to leave in January.

Villa, meanwhile, know Abraham well through his successful loan stint with the club in the 2018/19 season.

We were told Villa have lined Abraham up as a potential replacement for Ollie Watkins. Villa have no intention of selling their frontman, though he’s a player beginning to attract heavyweight interest.

In the event Watkins is retained for the long haul, Abraham would provide expert back-up.

In any case, it’s Stamford Bridge where Abraham could go if returning to England via a swap deal for Lukaku.

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