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Chelsea line up Costa replacements: Morata, Lukaku, Alexis Sánchez — reports

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Middlesbrough v Chelsea - Premier League
So long, and thanks for all the fish
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s Christmas in July come early as far as Chelsea transfer rumors are concerned, as even though Diego Costa isn’t going anywhere other than back into the starting lineup at this moment, the rumor mill is now convinced he’s good as gone this summer. And that means only one thing: Chelsea have to find a replacement!

That sound you’re hearing is the furious typing of hundreds of pre-written articles on what’s sure to be a tidal wave of transfer rumors coming at us in the next several months. Here are just three potential epicenters. These three are likely to produce the biggest tremors, but we’ll just have to wait and find out for sure.

ÁLVARO MORATA

This one’s from the Telegraph’s Matt Law, who posits Morata as Conte’s primary target and “preferred long-term successor” to Costa. We’ve heard all this before of course only for Morata to go back to Madrid and try to win his place as first-choice striker. He’s not quite succeeded in that regard just yet, but he might in the future. Regardless, the 24-year-old would no doubt cost a boatload (not that the others wouldn’t).

ROMELU LUKAKU

Also mentioned in the Telegraph and in several other outlets (Mirror, for example), Lukaku apparently remains high on Chelsea’s wishlist. He, too, was subject to several rounds of rumors over the summer before deciding to stay with Everton. He’s supposedly due a new contract there, but many are beginning to think he’s never going to sign one and will look to engineer his big move back to Chelsea (the “dream”!) or somewhere else. The price quoted for Lukaku is usually around £70m.

ALEXIS SÁNCHEZ

This one’s a bit more recent than the other two, stemming largely from Arsenal’s dilemma over wages as well Alexis’s recent palpable disappointment with his teammates’ efforts during games. Alexis will have just a year left on his contract at the end of this season. While he’s not quite a center forward, per so, he would no doubt be a tremendous signing (and thus perhaps the most unlikely of these three names).