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Conte prefers Belotti over Lukaku for Chelsea

Conflict at Stamford Bridge over Everton striker?

Arsenal v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Final
Antonio Conte
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Like a lot of material that gets published in the tabloids nowadays, it’s hard to tell what’s truth, what’s based on hearsay and what’s pure fiction. However we do enjoy a good story every time we hear one, especially when Everton are concerned.

This latest one concerns the Toffees’ wantaway striker Romelu Lukaku and his highly publicized proposed move to Chelsea. The Daily Star are reporting that manager Antonio Conte is not pleased with the club’s decision to pursue the Belgian, and that he would much rather have Torino’s Andrea Belotti.

The newspaper goes on to say that the two forwards have similar valuations, but the Italian manager prefers his countryman to join him at Stamford Bridge. However, it appears Lukaku is the choice of Technical Director Michael Emenalo, and club owner Roman Abramovich has gone with that preference.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago there were murmurs that Conte was frustrated by Chelsea’s apparent lack of activity in the transfer market and even chatter that he would quit the club after just one Premier League title-winning season, but that was quickly dispelled.

For Everton, it does appear the club is quite clear on what they want regarding Lukaku. He has been offered a new bumper contract that would make him the best paid player in the club’s history, which he has refused to sign. The Blues are happy to shop him around with that in mind, and will not let him go if his £70-£100m valuation is not met, especially he since has two years left on his current deal.

Meanwhile, the Blues have continued to pursue targets in the transfer market, with Sandro Ramirez likely spearheading the Toffees attack next season. There have been plenty of names linked with the secondary striker position, but nothing has come of that yet.

We have a feeling that all will be cleared tomorrow when the summer transfer window officially opens.