Chelsea board’s four potential Romelu Lukaku replacements after interview outrage

Thomas Tuchel reacts to Romelu Lukaku interview

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Chelsea only signed Romelu Lukaku back in the summer transfer window but, in the wake of his controversial interview where he fluttered his eyelashes in Inter Milan’s direction, the Belgian could be cut loose. Thomas Tuchel has come down hard on the forward, who was left out of the squad for Sunday’s epic 2-2 draw with Liverpool. So with a transfer exit potentially on the cards in the summer, Express Sport will now take a look at four players the Stamford Bridge board can consider as possible replacements.

Erling Haaland

Let’s start with the obvious.

Chelsea didn’t initially want Lukaku back in the summer. Instead, Tuchel hoped to bring Erling Haaland to the club.

That was certainly understandable, with the Norway international scoring 40 goals for Borussia Dortmund across all competitions last term.

This year, Haaland will be available for just £66million due to a clause in his contract – though agent Mino Raiola has suggested he could yet stay in Germany in order to aid his development.

Chelsea are primed to pursue the Norwegian, regardless of what happens with Lukaku, and any exit for their current No 9 would further fuel their determination when it comes to bringing Haaland to west London.

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Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez was expected to join Lukaku out of the Inter Milan exit door back in the summer.

However, the Argentine ended up staying at the San Siro and signing a new contract.

There’s currently no indication Martinez wants to leave Serie A behind yet Chelsea, if they find themselves needing a new striker, could make an approach.

Martinez has taken his game to new heights this season, scoring 11 goals from 17 league matches.

And if Chelsea were to bring him to the capital, Tuchel would be gaining a player with the potential to get even better in the coming years ahead.

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Harry Kane

This would be an interesting one.

Chelsea did enquire about Harry Kane back in the summer, only for Tottenham to make it abundantly clear they didn’t want to sell their prized asset.

With Spurs enduring another rough season, however, Kane may try and leave at the end of the current campaign.

Manchester City look poised to go elsewhere when it comes to signing a striker, having previously been frontrunners in the race to sign the England captain.

That gives Chelsea an opening, though Daniel Levy would loathe to sell Kane to a direct Premier League rival.

Alexander Isak

At present, Arsenal are the team being linked with a move for Alexander Isak.

The Real Sociedad star is seen as the perfect upgrade on both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who are expected to leave the club behind in the coming months.

Yet Chelsea could try and hijack a deal.

Isak would bring speed and potency to their frontline and, at the age of 22, would be a signing for the future.

Sociedad would be unlikely to stand in his way, especially if they can bank a big fee for the Sweden international.

Lukaku ‘disrespectful’

Speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, Graeme Souness slammed Lukaku and said the Chelsea striker had been ‘disrespectful’ towards his club.

“You’re trying to understand how a player has got to a stage where he’s come out with such a ridiculous and damaging statement,” said Souness.

“We’ve all played with players who need to be training every day and playing every week to get the best out of them.

“Lukaku is a powerful man, and he’s been used sparingly by the manager.

“He’s physically big and strong and has to be playing games all the time to be scoring goals. Wayne Rooney, I imagine, had to be like that to get the very best out of him. [Lukaku] was frustrated at not coming back and going straight into the team and has come up with the nonsense he’s said.

“It was totally disrespectful. He’s 29 years old not 19 and he should know better. This damages the football club enormously. It’s like walking into a dressing room and telling the other guys, ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore.’”

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