It has long appeared that with Romelu Lukaku refusing to sign a new deal at Everton, he will likely be making a move back to Chelsea from whence he came. However, that transfer had also looked contingent on the Stamford Bridge side selling Diego Costa to the Chinese Super League for some eye-watering sum to fund the move.
In an interview with Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad soon after losing the FA Cup Final, Costa said that he would welcome Lukaku to Chelsea, and that he wasn’t necessarily worried about the team adding the striker despite manager Antonio Conte favouring a one-striker system.
"I do not know, that's a decision for the club. Of course Lukaku is a very big player who has played an impressive season.
"I hope he will ever have the possibility to sign at Chelsea because Chelsea is a unique club.”
Talk has been rife about Chelsea’s backup striker Michy Batshuayi looking for a move after getting virtually no playing time behind Costa.
"Batshuayi is a big player and has an impressive future for himself," he said. "He has proven in the last games that he has quality and scoring ability. He is a boy who will take more big steps.
"Hopefully he will continue to grow and keep his head up. He has all the qualities to stay here at Chelsea).”
Costa then also cleared that he would not be plying his trade in China next season, saying that the only move he would entertain would be back to his former club Atletico Madrid.
Interestingly, Atleti’s striker Antoine Griezmann is a target for Manchester United, and that move could trigger a dominoes-like movement with Costa returning to Madrid and Chelsea looking to replace him with Lukaku. There remains one more gambit in this chess game, with Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata also looking to leave, and Chelsea being named as suitors.