Diego Costa took the Premier League by storm in his first season at Stamford Bridge, scoring 20 times in 26 games to help the Blues win the title with ease.
The 27-year-old’s second season in England has not been so productive. It has yielded 11 goals in 24 top-flight matches so far.
Chelsea’s collective fall from grace has been much more spectacular than Costa’s individual one – the 10th-placed Blues are closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table with 10 games left to play.
In fact, one might argue that Costa – despite his relative slump – has been one of Chelsea’s best players during this disappointing campaign.
Nevertheless, The Sun report that Costa is eyeing a move away from the club, leaving the Blues owner Roman Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo to survey the market for his replacement.
According to The Sun, Abramovich, Emenalo and even Antonio Conte – who the newspaper describe as Chelsea’s “manager elect” – all agree that Everton hitman Romelu Lukaku is the best man to take Costa’s job as the lead frontman at the Bridge.
The Sun claim that Lukaku is at the top of Conte’s summer transfer plans, that Emenalo has pushed for Chelsea to re-sign the 22-year-old – having sold him to the Toffees in July 2014 – and that Abramovich is “convinced” that former manager Jose Mourinho made a mistake in letting him go.
Lukuku is one of 60 men to score 60 Premier League goals, but, with time on his side, he is poised to increase that tally significantly and, if he stays in England, potentially even challenge Alan Shearer’s all-time record of 260.
None of Lukaku’s 60 Prem goals were for Chelsea, who only gave him one start. Seventeen were scored during a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion, while the rest belong to Everton.
In addition to his 43 League goals for Everton, Lukaku has netted 18 times in other competitions. He scored a brace against Chelsea to dump his former side out of the FA Cup earlier this month.