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Chelsea ‘unlikely’ to replace Lukaku with out-and-out number 9

Chelsea are ‘unlikely’ to replace Romelu Lukaku with an out-and-out number nine as the west Londoners look to overhaul their attacking options.

Lukaku is set to complete a loan return to Inter Milan after a disappointing debut season at Chelsea, with the Belgium international having scored just eight league goals following his £97.5m club record arrival from the Italian side.

 

Thomas Tuchel is prepared to allow Lukaku to leave with all parties keen on his departure back to Serie A, though the German will not look to replace the 29-year-old with a recognised centre-forward.

The Guardian are reporting that Chelsea are looking to add goals and versatility to their frontline this summer, with goalscoring widemen at the forefront of the club’s transfer plans.

Raheem Sterling has emerged as Chelsea’s number one transfer target and there is ‘a willingness on all sides’ to get a deal done this summer.

Sterling has just one seasons remaining on his contract at Manchester City and is open to an exit after seeing his role reduced under Pep Guardiola, whilst the Premier League champions will not stand in the way of a player who has provided seven seasons of excellent service.

The 27-year-old has scored 131 goals in 339 appearances for City and would improve the goal threat of a Chelsea team whose forward options have often flattered to deceive.

Chelsea also remain interested in a deal to sign Ousmane Dembele on a free transfer from Barcelona, with the France international having played under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

The Blues are also monitoring Premier League options in Everton’s Richarlison and Leeds’ Raphinha, though face competition for the duo from clubs including Tottenham and Arsenal.

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