Chelsea ‘plan to replace’ Lukaku with £80m Serie A star as ‘London trip booked’

Will Ford
Chelsea transfer target Dusan Vlahovic
Dusan Vlahovic joined Juventus from Fiorentina for €80m in January 2022.

Chelsea want to replace Romelu Lukaku with Juventus star Dusan Vlahovic this summer, according to multiple reports in Italy.

Lukaku has reportedly turned down a three-year, €40m/year contract from Saudi Arabia as he is unwilling to ‘sell his soul to the Devil’, but is desperate to leave Chelsea for Inter Milan.

Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport all claim Lukaku is Inter’s priority signing this summer.

They’re planning to make an offer to sign Lukaku on loan with an option/obligation to buy for €30m, and although Chelsea would prefer a sale, they also want the Belgium international off their books ahead of next season.

Should the Blues get rid of Lukaku they will push to sign Vlahovic from Juventus, with Football Italia claiming they ‘plan to replace’ Lukaku with the 23-year-old.

The Serbia international was Juve’s leading scorer last season with 14 goals in all competitions, but is thought to be keen on an exit with the Premier League his preferred destination.

Juventus paid €80m (£69.6m) to sign Vlahovic from Fiorentina in January 2022 but want to make a profit on the striker, setting his price tag at £80m.

Reports suggest Chelsea are ‘preparing an offer’ of £69m, but there is likely to be some wiggle room given Vlahovic’s desire to leave this summer.

And the Juventus chiefs ‘have already booked a trip to London’ this week to discuss Vlahovic’s future, along with a number of their other up-for-grabs stars.

Massimiliano Allegri’s mentor Giovanni Galeone has recently said that he thinks Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa – who’s been linked with both Liverpool and Aston Villa – will leave this summer.

“I think Juventus need to sell somebody and I think both Chiesa and Vlahovic will go. Look at Milan, Napoli and Inter, they sign nobody if they don’t sell first. It’s not easy to find a centre forward at the moment, Milik can be a solid backup, but then you need somebody who can score 20 goals otherwise there is nothing you can do.”

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