Chelsea transfer latest: Richarlison the top target as Todd Boehly draws up five-man shortlist to replace Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea’s interim sporting director Todd Boehly has shortlisted five big-name strikers – including Richarlison – that he wants to sign as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian frontman is on the verge of securing a return to Inter Milan to end a miserable spell at Stamford Bridge. The Nerazzurri are paying the Blues a £6.87m fee to sign him on loan for the season. That fee could rise depending on Inter’s success. The loan move, however, does not contain any options for Inter to make the move permanent.
And while Lukaku, as it stands, will be back at Chelsea in summer 2023, it seems they are planning for life without him.
The 29-year-old cost Chelsea a club-record £97.5m last summer. However, after strongly criticising Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and making clear he wished he’d not left Inter, there does not appear a way back for him.
And according to the Daily Mail, new Chelsea owner Boehly is actively seeking a replacement. And the American, who is temporarily filling in as sporting director following Marina Granovskaia’s exit, has five potential replacements in mind.
Of the quintet, just one of those is currently operating in the Premier League; Everton star Richarlison.
The Brazilian has been strongly linked with a move to Tottenham in recent weeks as they seek more attacking options. But he has always seemingly favoured a move to Stamford Bridge. Furthermore, his first-team prospects look better suited in west London.
The Toffees are reportedly seeking £51m for the striker.
Richarlison just one of five strikers Chelsea are considering
Chelsea are also considering one of European football’s most prolific strikers too, in Robert Lewandowski. The Pole looks likely to leave Bayern Munich this summer, as his deal enters its final year.
Talks over an extension have failed to see an agreement reached. And while a move to Barcelona is bubbling along, Chelsea are reportedly lurking in the background and plotting a potential raid.
The report claims the other men being considered are Lille’s Jonathan David, Victor Osimhen of Napoli and Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca.
Of the trio, a deal for Osimhen perhaps looks hardest to pull off. Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis is reportedly seeking a huge £85m (€100m) fee to part with his biggest asset.
And while Chelsea have illustrated in the past they can afford such luxuries, he would certainly prove the most costly of the five.
The Daily Mail also claims there are concerns around those three players over their abilities to fit into Tuchel’s preferred 3-4-3 system. As such, a move for either Lewandowski or Richarlison looks the most likely.
Chelsea also targeting new defenders
The Blues, of course, also need to focus on recruiting new defenders this summer. As such, that is still likely to take precedence over their wish to land a new frontman.
Indeed, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to replace, Chelsea have two sizeable holes to fill.
To that end, they continue to chase a deal for Jules Kounde, with reports claiming he has taken a big step towards signing.
Chelsea join £50m Richarlison race
Everton must sell Richarlison to balance the books and Chelsea are ready to pounce on £50m deal
In addition, Chelsea may also need to cover at full-back. That’s amid long-term doubts over Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, both of whom could depart Stamford Bridge.
Furthermore, Chelsea have shown they can operate without a central striker / dedicated No 9 before. Indeed, Tuchel has often used Kai Havertz in a false 9 position, with the likes of Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech playing off him.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s Transfer Gossip claims the Blues are cooling their interest in signing Ousmane Dembele.