Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

Chelsea are reportedly confident of bringing Romelu Lukaku back to the club this summer after he rejected a new contract offer from Everton, with the striker said to feel as though he has “unfinished business” with his former side.

According to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror, the Blues are keen to land Lukaku despite selling him to the Toffees for £28 million in the summer of 2014. It’s suggested they had a £57 million bid rejected for the Belgium international ahead of the current campaign.

However, as noted in the piece, Lukaku’s decision to reject Everton’s £140,000-a-week deal is said to have given Chelsea renewed hope of getting a deal done. “Chelsea also know the Belgian considers himself to have ‘unfinished business’ at Stamford Bridge after failing to nail down a first-team place during his three years at the club,” Lewis continued.

Everton were said to be confident that Lukaku would agree an extension, with his agent Mino Raiola telling TalkSport that a contract for the striker was “99.9 per cent” finalised.

Per Bleacher Report UK, the 23-year-old striker has been linked to a clutch of the biggest names in European football:

Although Lukaku has apparently made his intentions to leave the Toffees clear, it’s suggested any club would have to pay around £75 million to prise him away from Goodison Park.

That’s no surprise. Lukaku is currently the joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League alongside Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, having netted 19 league goals this season.

Lukaku has been in superb goalscoring form this season.

Lukaku has been in superb goalscoring form this season.Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Indeed, having joined Everton from Chelsea, the striker has kicked on. Regular first-team football under Roberto Martinez and now Ronald Koeman has helped him improve his game. In terms of finishing, there aren’t many in European football who compare with the striker.

For Chelsea, those attributes will be appealing. As we can see here courtesy of Squawka Football, despite his relatively tender years, already he’s polished a reputation as a thoroughbred goalscorer:

It’s something the Premier League leaders might need this summer. After all, star man Diego Costa has been linked with an exit after a reported bust-up with manager Antonio Conte in January.

As reported by Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, Costa was dropped for the away game against Leicester City after a row with Conte; it’s added that as a result of this bust-up, the 28-year-old will most likely be moved on.

Costa has been linked with a move away from Chelsea.

Costa has been linked with a move away from Chelsea.ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Here’s a look at how Lukaku compares with Costa and Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Premier League this season:

Striker Comparison: Lukaku, Costa, Ibrahimovic
Apps (Sub) 26 (1) 25 25
Goals 19 17 15
Assists 5 5 4
Shots per game 2.7 3 4.4
Key passes per game 1.4 1.2 1.8
Dribbles per game 1.9 1.8 0.6
Aerial duels won per game 3.7 1.3 3.1

In terms of style, Lukaku is not a direct replacement for someone like Costa. The Everton man is not a willing runner, doesn’t particularly excel with his back to goal and lacks the aggression of the current Chelsea striker.

But if the Blues want to add more goals to their side, then there are few better alternatives than the Belgium international. And if Costa was to stay at Chelsea beyond the summer, the prospect of him linking up with Lukaku is an ominous one for Premier League defenders.  

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