Chelsea fans are eagerly awaiting to see what Antonio Conte has planned for his first complete summer transfer window in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Last season the Italian made only four signings – three of which were seemingly modest investments that proved to be undroppable members of his 3-4-3 system.
Having uncovered a trio of key players in N’Golo Kante, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso for roughly £80 million, Conte knows a bargain when he sees one.
The former Juventus boss could soon be forced to spend a similar amount on a single addition with Diego Costa reportedly informed via text he will not be required for the upcoming campaign.
Chelsea have since been linked with several potential replacements – and none of them will come cheap.
Conte has plenty of time to work a deal for his next first-choice striker, but Blues legend Joe Cole has offered him a helping hand by naming three candidates who could fill Costa’s boots for the 2017/18 season.
“[Romelu] Lukaku, there’s a market for him, and you are competing for players. I like Lukaku. I’d take Lukaku, he is like for like with Costa, but they only need one or two players and just keep the continuity going,” he said, per Goal.
"I don’t know his character so it is hard to say [whether the comeback could affect him], but I would say is that the pressure is different when you play for Chelsea, rather than Everton. He is younger [than Costa], that’s in his favour.
"Sergio Aguero is in his prime, Alexis Sanchez is in his prime.
"I think one of them three could be enough to make sure Chelsea are not weakened and maybe strengthened a little bit as well. The club will have to do their due diligence on the characters as well.
"The financial structure of it and the cost... I wouldn’t look outside of Lukaku, Sanchez and Aguero. [Alvaro] Morata is another one but he has never played in England so there is a little question mark there. Certainly they would be the players to look at."
Cole makes a solid point regarding the importance of his former club recruiting a striker who won’t crumble leading the line for the Premier League champions.
Lukaku has established himself as one of the most prolific goalscorers in the country since leaving Chelsea for Everton three years ago.
The 24-year-old Belgian will likely command a fee upwards of £70 million and some of the Stamford Bridge faithful may well think that kind of money could be spent more wisely.
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