Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will make a last ditch attempt to stop Wolfsburg from signing top Arsenal target Mario Mandzukic this summer, by offering them the services of Romelu Lukaku instead.
Information in the Daily Express alludes to the idea that Mourinho is willing to part ways with his Belgian starlet if it means he can land Mandzukic, and will tempt Wolfsburg into signing Lukaku rather than Bayern Munich’s Croatian. Rumours have been rife for some time over just where Lukaku will end up, with a host of clubs - including Wolfsburg - said to be interested in securing his services. Having enjoyed another prolific season in the Premier League with Everton last term the young forward’s stock has continued to rise, but it would appear that there is no room for him in Mourinho’s plans.
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Instead the Portuguese coach wants to lure Mandzukic to Stamford Bridge and, as he reportedly harbours concerns over Lukaku’s outspoken nature, will offer the 21-year-old to Wolfsburg for a lower fee. This is following speculation that the Bundesliga outfit balked at the £20million price they were quoted when they first expressed interest in Chelsea’s prodigal striker.
Naturally those who know Mourinho will be wise to his tricks, and it looks as though his decision to essentially butter up his transfer rivals is yet another means to an end. Last summer The Special One was pivotal in ensuring that Tottenham didn’t get their hands on Willian, and certain claims have been made that it was his influence which convinced Cesc Fabregas to opt for Stamford Bridge this summer. The move for Mandzukic may be confusing given the fact that he is seven years Lukaku’s senior, but Blues fans will be confident it is all part of some master plan from their talismanic coach.
RESTRUCTURING THE STRIKER FORCE
It became abundantly clear last season that the trio of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba weren’t consistent enough to fire Chelsea to the Premier League title in Mourinho’s first season back at the club, and so it makes sense that he is prioritising a complete restructure. His moves in the transfer market thus far would indicate that he is vying to have both Diego Costa and Mandzukic at his disposal next season, whilst attempts to sign Ezequiel Lavezzi and Toni Kroos promote the idea that he wants his side to have plenty of options when they’re looking to move forward.