Whether Costa stays or goes, Lukaku should be a priority for Conte

CostaDiego Costa’s future has become the subject of much debate this summer with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte indicating, after his side’s 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid on Saturday evening, that he doesn’t know if the striker will be a Chelsea player come the end of the transfer window.

As seen in this video, Costa is understood to be keen to a return to the Spanish capital to re-join his former club Atletico Madrid but Chelsea have stood firm that Costa isn’t for sale.

Atletico have pursued the striker numerous times since selling him to Chelsea in 2014 leading to claims that Chelsea warned Atleti that they would report them if they didn’t desist.

The Champions League finalists seemed to put the matter to an end after signing Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro, although the discussion between Costa and Sergio Ramos suggested that the signing of Gameiro is the reason why he hasn’t returned back to Atleti.

If Costa isn’t happy, should Chelsea sell up?

Ever since his £32m transfer in 2014 from Atleti, questions as to whether Costa is happy at Stamford Bridge have floated around. We’ve heard constant rumours in regards to him being unsettled; struggling with the language, the food, the weather and treatment he’s received from the FA.

If the player isn’t happy Chelsea should do their utmost to get him out, on his day he can be unplayable which was evident especially in his first season where he contributed to helping Chelsea win the title. But last year we saw the reverse of this as he became a hindrance to himself and the team with bans and fines coming from frequent skirmishes.

He came to the country with the label of being a hothead, but few could have imagined that it would have been as bad as this, with new issues arising pretty much weekly.

If the forward sticks to what he’s good at, being in the penalty box sniffing around to score goals and contributing to help the team, then he could be one of the first names on the team sheet but he can’t be relied on to do this without the extras that then make him a liability.  So if he is already saying he wants to leave and there is a chance that he could repeat his showing of last season, Chelsea should be looking to sell up.

With the lack of goals last season, up front is a a position that needs reinforcements anyway despite buying Michy Batshuayi this summer and Bertrand Traore with an extra year of experience, they still need a marquee signing to compete with Costa if he stays or replace the Spaniard if he goes.

Last season Chelsea lacked a suitable replacement when Costa lost form as Loic Remy and  Radamel Falcao failed to fill the void for a club of Chelsea’s stature who usually have League, Champions League as well as the FA Cup and League Cup football.

Former Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a return to the club after an impressive spell at Everton.

He’ll provide healthy competition especially with four years of first team experience on his hands and will be pushing for a starting place in Conte’s side.

The stumbling block for Chelsea will be the price tag which Everton have set on their star man; to bring the Belgian back to Stamford Bridge would require a £75m bid according to reports with Chelsea hoping they can lower the asking price.

Aside from Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in the title-winning 2014-15 campaign, Lukaku has outscored every Chelsea player in each of his four Premier League seasons away from Stamford Bridge – at Albion and Everton

His first touch and patchy form can still be questioned but Chelsea believe they will be purchasing a powerhouse, full of goals, closing in on his potential and one that can soften the blow of an indifferent/departed Diego Costa.

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