Chelsea must not swap Romelu Lukaku for Diego Costa

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Chelsea's continued pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has not exactly flown under the radar in recent times, with reports earlier this week having strongly suggested that the club had opened negotiations with a view to bringing him to Stamford Bridge.

While Jose Mourinho's obvious pressing need for a new forward is certainly no surprise given the lack of consistent form displayed by his current crop of underwhelming frontmen, Chelsea fans will presumably have been somewhat concerned by speculation today that claims Romelu Lukaku has been offered as part of a potential exchange deal for Costa.

Simply put, if Chelsea are to attempt to entice Atletico into parting with Costa with a striker of their own, then it surely must not be Lukaku.

While the likes of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba have all proven themselves largely incapable of producing the goods on a consistent basis this season during Mourinho's second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku - who turns 21 today and is valued at around £25 million - has not been handed a fair chance to prove himself worthy of a place in the team.

What more does he have to do merit a place in the Chelsea squad moving forward? Clearly not part of the club's first-team plans over the past two seasons, Lukaku has worked extremely hard and positively flourished elsewhere in the top-flight during two highly productive loan stints with West Brom and Everton.

Personally, I can see why Chelsea may want to include a striker as part of their offer for Costa, as it would help reduce the price and also help ease Atletico's transition into life without the dominant Spain international.

To include Torres in such a deal would make absolutely perfect sense. A former Atletico favourite, the 30-year-old continues to fail to live up to his exorbitant price tag for Chelsea and would surely welcome the opportunity to return to the Vicente Calderon now Atletico are contending for regular silverware.

Chelsea's frontline is in need of a dramatic overhaul this summer, of that there can surely be no doubt.

Costa, a man who has proved his significant worth this season with a stellar record of 27 goals in 34 domestic games, would be an extremely promising signing who would provide an almost immediate boost for Mourinho and Chelsea.

However, he should be brought in to compete alongside the likes of Lukaku - whose potential could one day lead to him emulating the likes of Didier Drogba - rather than as a replacement.

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Romelu Lukaku
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Premier League

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