Transfer Talk: Barca taking a close Luk at Blues hitman
After seemingly missing out on Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona have turned attention to Romelu Lukaku in their ongoing striker search.
The out-of-favour Chelsea marksman, 28, has struggled to hit the heights since his £97.5million return to Stamford Bridge last summer.
Lukaku is without a Premier League goal in 2022 and Spanish outlet Sport suggest the Catalonians are ready to offer him an exit route out of his London nightmare.
Barca have improved markedly under legendary midfielder Xavi’s stewardship in recent months and hope to build on that promise with a strong summer window.
Prolific Bundesliga pair Haaland and Lewandowski were thought to be top of their wish list but hopes of landing either of them now appear slim.
Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland, 21, has reportedly agreed terms with Manchester City, while Bayern Munich have no intention of letting their talisman Lewandowski, 33, leave this year.
That has brought Lukaku into consideration, with the Belgian regarded as one of world football’s finest No9’s prior to his recent struggles.
He fired 24 goals in 2020-21 to help Inter Milan to the Serie A title and Barca are confident of him rediscovering that form in the Camp Nou.
Finances could well prove a stumbling block, though.
The Blues are still to pay a considerable amount of their initial fee for Lukaku so would require Barca to pay most of any offer up front.
But with ongoing financial woes of their own, the Spanish club will likely need to sell fringe players to make a deal happen.
In other news
Arsenal will let Nicolas Pepe leave the club for just £25m — a whopping £47m less than they paid to sign the Ivorian from Lille three years ago.
The Express report that the Gunners have offered Pepe, 26, to other Premier League clubs with West Ham among those interested.
Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle have all made contact with the agent of Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.
Dybala, 28, will leave Turin this summer and the Daily Mail claim the quartet are all attempting to lure the Argentine to England.