A triumphant return to west London looks set to be short-lived when it comes to Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku as the Blues frontman appears to be primed for a guaranteed exit from Stamford Bridge this summer.
Chelsea shelled out just shy of £100-million to bring the Antwerp-native back to the Premier League outfit after he never got a real chance at the club before going on to prove himself at West Brom, Everton, and Inter Milan despite a hot and cold two years with Manchester United.
But for the price that the Blues paid to bank on his goalscoring expertise to help the club push for Premier League honors this season, both parties have accepted that a partnership will be short-lived, and La Liga giants Barcelona could turn to Lukaku to hopefully solve their own issues at center-forward starting in the summer.
— Football365 (@F365) April 29, 2022
According to reports in Marca (cited by Football365), Lukaku has ‘entered the equation’ for Barcelona as the Catalan outfit is prepared to source a third option for recruitment after their top two summer targets look to be out of reach.
Previously interested in Bundesliga goal machines Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski, Barça suffered a blow in both pursuits as Haaland is all but guaranteed to wind up at the Etihad this summer and join forces with Pep Guardiola and company, while any deal for Lewandowski that could potentially be struck being viewed as ‘more complicated’ even though the Polish star was linked with being potentially interested in the destination.
The fact that Lukaku is prepared to depart Chelsea makes his potential acquisition that much easier for Barcelona, though the Belgian star is said to be attracting interest from a few clubs around Europe.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, an exit by Lukaku could pile the pressure on boss Thomas Tuchel who is already set to lose Antonio Rüdiger to Real Madrid, and possibly Andreas Christensen (also to Barcelona) would be another gap to fill for the club, who also may have to fend off interest – again from Madrid – in star right-back and England international Reece James.
The Cobham academy product has been a leading light for Chelsea this season and put in another outstanding performance against Manchester United in midweek. Should James draw the attention of arguably the biggest club on the planet, the loss of Romelu Lukaku in the summer may just be a drop in the bucket.