Chelsea appear more determined than ever to land an elite level striker this summer after lodging an enormous cash-plus-player bid totalling €100m in value, according to reports.
The Blues were crowned European champions under Thomas Tuchel despite failing to get a tune out of their options up front. Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham joint-top scored across all competitions last season. However, the pair only managed a measly 12 goals.
Premier League rivals Man City are seeking to add English superstars Harry Kane and Jack Grealish to their ranks. Man Utd have splashed out on Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, while Liverpool are expected to bounce back from their dismal title defence.
As such, acquiring a clinical centre-forward may become a Blues necessity just to keep pace.
Erling Haaland rose to the top of their wish-list, but prising the Norwegian away from Borussia Dortmund this summer appears a near-impossible task.
Instead, ex-Chelsea hitman Romelu Lukaku has recently come into focus. The Belgian has taken his game to the next level since leaving Man Utd for Inter Milan in 2019. Lukaku has operated at better than a goal every other game since moving and would provide Chelsea with a lethal cutting edge up front.
The Athletic recently claimed Chelsea had seen two bids rejected for the 28-year-old. Now, details have surfaced as to the size and structure of their latest attempt to land Lukaku
Trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano tweeted Chelsea bid ‘€100m including Marcos Alonso’ for the forward.
That effort was duly rebuffed by Inter, though the Daily Express hint a breakthrough could yet be made.
They cite information from Sky Sports News that noted ‘it will take over £85m (€100m)’ for Inter to part ways with their talisman.
Chelsea’s latest bid was rejected despite matching the minimum Inter would consider. However, it at least shows they are prepared to stump up the kind of offer Inter are seeking.
As such, it would not be inconceivable to think another, slightly improved offer could yet yield a breakthrough.
Unsettled Chelsea man becomes Arsenal target’s alternative
Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko could be set to return to Italy in a transfer saga that has implications for an Arsenal target, according to reports.
Bakayoko was a £40m signing for Chelsea in 2017, but only spent one season at Stamford Bridge before falling into a cycle of loan spells away. He has had the most success in Italy, where he has played for AC Milan and Napoli either side of a return to Monaco in Ligue 1.
One year remains on his contract at Stamford Bridge, where there were rumours that Thomas Tuchel would give him one last chance. In the process, a move back to Milan was blocked. But Bakayoko would prefer to return to Serie A than begin the season with Chelsea.
Now, another option for him to do so has emerged. According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Juventus would be keen to acquire his services.
To reclaim their title, they need to fix their midfield. That department has been a problem area in the couple of years since Allegri’s first spell in charge. They are aiming to sign Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo to do so, but talks have not been successful yet.
In the meantime, Arsenal are said to have made a superior offer for the Italy international. Therefore, if Locatelli leaves to London, Juventus could look elsewhere in the capital to reinforce their ranks.