Romelu Lukaku turns down West Ham for the second time

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Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku has turned down a move to West Ham for the second time, according to the Mirror.

The Hammers launched an ambitious bid for the Belgian last year but were promptly knocked back, and it seems as though the same has happened again this time round.

According to the Mirror, the Chelsea forward is only interested in a club which can offer European football next season, and that rules West Ham out of the running. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has been forced to commit to a more attacking brand of football next season and has already appointed Teddy Sheringham as his new attacking coach.

While Lukaku is at face value a "big man up top' that Allardyce loves so much, his technical skill and goal-scoring ability sets him apart from your run-of-the-mill target man. Sadly for West Ham fans any slim chance they had of landing the 21-year-old appear gone, and they will have to be more creative when it comes to drawing up a list of targets in the future.

However that isn't the end of the story for Lukaku or Chelsea. It looks increasingly likely that he will leave Stamford Bridge despite adding to his reputation while on loan with Everton last season, and there are plenty of clubs willing to take him on.

German outfit Wolfsburg are the latest to throw their hats in the ring - and their participation in the Europa League next season certainly ticks a box in terms of what Lukaku is looking for. The same applies for Everton and Tottenham who will also feature in Europe's second tier club competition.

Before selling up though Chelsea may want to take stock of their options in attack. As it stands they can call upon Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o - although the latter will soon depart Stamford Bridge when his contract expires. That leaves two misfiring strikers, but Diego Costa is expected to sign on the dotted line shortly which will certainly help.

However even then if Lukaku leaves then Chelsea are left in the same situation as they were last year - with three forwards.

If Costa struggles to settle into life in England, which is certainly possible, then they will be exposed in attack once more - unless another expensive forward is bought in. It seems as though they would be better served keeping hold of a young, proven Premier League striker in Lukaku rather than splashing the cash once more and taking a risk on another new face.

Romelu Lukaku
Premier League

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