Antonio Conte has told Romelu Lukaku he will be Chelsea’s first-choice striker next season, according to journalist Emanuele Giulianelli via the
Lukaku has been heavily linked with a return to Chelsea after proving himself as a Premier League striker, scoring 17 goals in a loan spell with West Brom before netting 71 strikes for Everton after an initial temporary move to the Toffees, which was later made permanent.
Chelsea’s Diego Costa is expected to leave this summer after revealing Conte had told him via a text message that he was not part of his plans for next season, and Giulianelli claims discussions between Conte and Lukaku have already taken place.
He tweeted: “What Diego Costa has revealed wasn’t a secret at all. Conte has explained to Lukaku that in his plans he would be the first choice.”
Lukaku has already revealed he and his agent know where the Belgium international will be playing next season.
He said, as quoted by the Daily Star: “My agent knows what is going to happen and I know as well. I’m staying calm and we have an agreement with the club as well.
“We stay calm and at least we have a direction where we want to go. I want to take everything to another level and be better than I was last year.”
Chelsea are likely to take a financial hit on Costa this summer, with Serie A side AC Milan unlikely to be able to cover his £9m-per-season salary.