Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku to Join Atletico Madrid on Loan

Atletico Madrid look set to confirm a season-long loan deal for Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. With the London side looking to wrap up a deal worth up to £50 million for Atleti’s striker Diego Costa and left-back Filipe Luis, a loan deal for Lukaku seems to be an added sweetener for the side who would then have just two recognized strikers in their first team squad.

Lukaku has made just four starts for Chelsea since signing in 2011 from Anderlecht for a reported fee of £18 million, but he has had successful loan spells in the Premier League up until now with West Brom and Everton, scoring 33 goals in total.

After news broke that Chelsea were on the verge of completing a deal for Costa, Lukaku publicly requested a transfer away from Stamford Bridge. Should Lukaku leave on loan as expected, Chelsea will most likely offer him a new contract as his current one has just two years left.

In a recent interview, Lukaku stated that thoughts of a transfer move were not on his mind, as he attempts to recover from an injury before Belgium’s first group game against Algeria at the World Cup: “I only know one thing and that is that, in my opinion, Chelsea are still the biggest club in England and they have a very, very good manager! I have a contract with Chelsea after this summer and I am not focusing on any move to Atletico.

“Let me say that I am now the complete striker. I never thought I was a target man, a No.9 who could play with his back to the goal. I always wanted to run at defenders. That is still a great quality, but now I can do both. I love playing as a real striker in the box now.

“I have been playing all season for a team (Everton) which has more than 60 percent of the time possession of the ball. Technically I have been improving as a player.

“My concentration is better than ever on finishing, rather than on running with the ball. I am absolutely convinced that moving to Everton was the best step in my career. When you feel everything is working out, it makes you so relaxed and happy as a player in big matches.”

Regardless of how the drama ensues, it will be interesting to see whether Lukaku can become an established part of Mourinho’s Chelsea side during the 2014/15 campaign, and whether he can replicate his form from this season at this year’s installment of the World Cup in Brazil.

Written by Sean Tansley