Chelsea are expected to replace Didier Drogba with 17-year-old Dominic Solanke next season.
This is according to The Sun, who claim the highly-rated Chelsea academy graduate is poised to become the third-choice striker at Stamford Bridge.
The report suggests Chelsea will stick with Diego Costa as their number one centre-forward, with Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette coming in to replace Loic Remy - who could move in the opposite direction - and Solanke taking the place of Drogba if the Ivory Coast legend leaves the club this summer.
Drogba’s one-year contract expires this summer, and the 37-year-old recently confirmed he will play on regardless of whether it’s at Stamford Bridge or elsewhere.
The powerful forward has scored seven goals in 38 appearances for Chelsea this season, but Mourinho may feel the gifted Solanke is now ready to make an impact in the first team.
Mourinho tips Solanke to reach the top
The teenager, who has represented England at Under-18 level, is widely regarded as one of English football’s brightest talents.
In July 2014, Mourinho named Solanke as one of three players in Chelsea’s youth ranks who was destined to represent England at senior level in the future.
“My conscience tells me that if, for example, Baker, Brown, and Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “They are part of a process the club started without me. In this moment, we have players who will be Chelsea players. And when they become Chelsea players, they will become England players, almost for sure.
“At 16 or 17 I don’t think it’s good for them to go somewhere else to play, like in the Championship. At 17 they have to train with us and they have to learn with us. They will learn a lot.”
Chelsea fans: would you be happy if Didier Drogba made way for Dominic Solanke this summer? Have your say in the comments below!
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