Chelsea striker clear out: even Lukaku will go as Costa arrives

Apr 4, 2014
Bill Mann

Mourinho happy to spent £50m on a new forward as he prepares to offload his entire frontline


YOU can say what you want about Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, but he knows what he likes, and the strikers at Chelsea are not on the list of things that make him happy.

Even the ones that are scoring are on borrowed time at the Bridge it seems, with Romelu Lukaku also likely to be shown the door at the end of the season along with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o. Talksport reports that Tottenham "have held talks" with on-loan Lukaku, who has spent most of this season catching the eye at Goodison Park .

Despite the fact Chelsea's strikeforce this season has failed to fire and the Blues badly need a Lukaku-like figure up front, Talksport says Tottenham look likely to prise the young Belgian from the Bridge in the summer. Speaking to Belgian rag Het Nieuwsblad, the player's agent, Christophe Henrotay, said: "Yes, I've talked to Daniel Levy  [the Tottenham chairman] once, but that doesn't mean Romelu will definitely join Spurs. That's not a talking point at this moment." Asked to elaborate, Henrotay said: "There aren't 20 teams that can afford to buy Romelu. He won't go from Everton to, let's say, Swansea."

With a massive clear-out in the offing The Special One is preparing to splash the cash in the summer to replace his misfiring front line and the Daily Telegraph says that a bid for Atletico Madrid hitman Diego Costa is on the cards after Mourinho said he was happy to spend £50m on a new striker.

So convinced is Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger that Chelsea will land Costa that he has given up on the player and instead switched his attentions to Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic, who could bail out of the German club when Roberto Lewandowski arrives in the summer, according to the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have missed out on the chance to sign Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen after the 21-year-old penned a two-year contract extension at the Dutch club. The Gunners have been linked to the goalscoring playmaker for months with Arsene Wenger said to be impressed by his nine goals in 22 appearances for Ajax this season, form that has seen Klaassen make a case for inclusion in Holland's World Cup squad.

Speaking to the club's official website, Klaassen explained why he had chosen remain loyal to Ajax rather than make a move to the Emirates. "This is a logical step for me," he said. "We really want to start building something with Ajax, and I think we are doing well."

Much sought-after defender Eliaquim Mangala looks like being Manchester City's first signing of the summer with the Daily Mail claiming that Sky Blues sporting director Txiki Begiristain is in Porto to finalise the transfer of the 23-year-old defender.

It's believed Porto are asking £20m for Mangala, a French international who began his career with  Standard Liege.

City had hoped to bring Mangala to the Etihad in January, in a £38m double deal that included his Porto team-mate Fernando, but in the end the deal came to naught.

Apparently Chelsea are also after Mangala, who joined Porto for £6m in 2011, who is regarded as "a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room". The Mail claims Begiristain will remain in Porto for as long as it takes to secure the Frenchman's signature. 

Talking of defenders, the three Premier League big guns most in need of some extra steel at the back are set to battle it out for Sevilla centre back Federico Fazio this summer, says Talksport. The website claims Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham are fighting Fiorentina to sign the 27-year-old, whose displays have helped Sevilla into the last eight of the Europa League.

Barcelona were also interested in the defender, but their transfer woes mean that his other suitors now have renewed hope of signing him.

Finally, it's back to the Bridge, and says that Chelsea's young goalkepper Thibault Courtois is "on the brink" of agreeing to stay at Atletico Madrid for another season. Courtois has been on loan at the Spanish club ever since joining Chelsea in 2011 and he's made it clear this season that he has no intention of returning to London just to warm the bench for Petr Cech.

According to that doesn't look likely after  a meeting earlier this week in which the "groundwork of a deal" was put in place, which will see the 21-year-old remain in Madrid for a fourth consecutive campaign. When asked about his future on Tuesday, Courtois told a Spanish radio station "next week I will announce my decision".

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