Spanish giants Atletico Madrid are reportedly preparing a move for Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku.
According to Super Deporte, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is reportedly keeping an eye on Romelu Lukaku’s situation following his recent struggles with Chelsea. The Argentine tactician is a big fan of the Belgian striker and is pushing the Rojiblancos hierarchy to bring him to Madrid if the opportunity arises this summer.
Lukaku joined the Blues in a club-record €115 million transfer from Inter Milan last summer after helping Inter win the Serie A title the previous season. He was expected to keep up his incredible form and break the long-running No. 9 curse at Stamford Bridge, while helping Chelsea’s bid for the Premier League title.
However, the Belgium has not had the desired impact in west London. After a decent start, he was kept out of action by injury and Covid-related problems. Then came the bombshell interview with Sky Italia, where he criticized manager Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and soured his relationship with the Chelsea faithful.
To make matters worse, goals have not been flowing for the forward in recent months. While an 11-goal tally in 31 appearances is not terrible by any means, it is his poor body language and lack of overall involvement that has raised many eyebrows. The 28-year-old is now behind Kai Havertz in the pecking order for the centre-forward position, with the Blues’ attack looking more cohesive in the German international’s presence.
The complicated circumstances surrounding Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has further fueled rumours about possible Chelsea exits this summer, with Lukaku one of the prime candidates to leave the Blues to revive his career. Atletico Madrid could be a potential destination for him.
The 28-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in 2026. Even though Chelsea could be open to cutting their losses on their record signing, they may still want to recoup the majority of their initial investment from the sale of their prized asset, which could price out several suitors.
From the standpoint of Atletico Madrid, they may have the funds to afford the Lukaku deal should Juventus decide to activate their option to purchase Alvaro Morata for €35 million after the Spaniard’s recent upturn in form. They can also get Luis Suarez’s big wages off their books, with the Uruguayan’s contract expiring at the end of the season. Joao Felix’s exit is also on the cards.
There is no doubt that Lukaku would be an ideal replacement for Suarez, and at his best, there are very few strikers in Europe better than the Belgian powerhouse. Lukaku is the sort of player that responds to an arm around the shoulder, and considering Simeone is renowned for his man-management, the Belgian may well rediscover his peak form in front of goal under El Cholo.
Apart from Atleti, a whole host of European big-wigs, including Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, are on high alert regarding Lukaku’s situation, while a reunion with former boss Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur can also not be ruled out.