Romelu Lukaku could reject a move back to Stamford Bridge in favor of a switch to Manchester United.
Antonio Conte will be on the hunt for a top class striker in the summer, as Diego Costa appears set to leave the club. The Spaniard’s head seems to have been turned towards a move to China, and rumors about his future off the field have seemingly had an effect on his performances on it, as he struggled to replicate even half of the form he showed at the start of the season.
With Costa set to move and Michy Batshuayi not trusted to be Conte’s main striker, the Blues are set to clash with several of their rivals for the signature of Romelu Lukaku – their former striker.
Lukaku, who is leading the chase for the Premier League golden boot with 24 goals to his name, is set to leave Everton this summer after refusing to sign a new contract with the club. Manchester United and Chelsea are the chief contenders, and will go head to head for his signature, with both clubs seemingly unfazed by his massive £80 million price tag.
According to The Sun, though, the 23-year-old Belgian has a preference as to where he would like to go, and it does not appear to be a return to Stamford Bridge. Instead, Lukaku appears more inclined on joining Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
This is down to one key point – tactics. Conte prefers a style of play where his strikers track back to defend as well as press opponents – two traits that Lukaku is not known for. Hence, Lukaku feels he may not be the Italian manager’s first choice to replace Costa.
Mourinho has openly admitted his admiration for the Belgian forward, and it appears that the striker feels more valued by the Old Trafford club. United, like Chelsea, are in the hunt to find a quality striker, and have been linked with the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Sergio Aguero, but Lukaku is also one of the club’s key targets for the upcoming summer transfer window.
While style of play is one factor, what Lukaku would really be looking for is Champions League football, and should United crash out of the Europa League, it will cause a major dent in their hopes of signing a majority of the targets on their list, and will also make it next to impossible for them to be a part of the competition next year due to their failure to qualify in the Premier League via the top 4.
If the Red Devils do manage to win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League, however, it appears as if there will be only one destination for Lukaku – the Theatre of Dreams.
Written by Reyhan Ashley Nath
Manchester United fan, Wayne Rooney is his role model. Passionate writer who has written for several sites in the past. He’s also an aspiring pianist and creates background music for BlameFootball’s Youtube channel.