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The intertwined fates of Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku, and Tammy Abraham

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

The Diego Costa-to-China rumors have (re-)exploded over the past 12-24 hours, with fresh reports of massive wages and transfer fees being offered by Tianjian Quanjian and possibly others from the Chinese Super League as well. This story has been reported and more or less confirmed by all major outlets at this point (at least as far as transfer rumors can ever be confirmed), with weekly wages anywhere from £570,000 to £650,000 waiting for Diego, and an appropriately outsized transfer fee, possibly around £80m if not more, set to be heading Chelsea’s way as well.

Even if those figures prove to be a bit too good to be true, Chelsea are sure to receive compensation large enough to help us turn around and find a replacement. That replacement is increasingly looking likely to be Romelu Lukaku, provided Everton don’t stonewall into oblivion like they did with John Stones. Their asking price for Big Rom may be outrageous as well (like £100m outrageous), but if we can finance most of that with Costa’s fee, it suddenly looks a lot less outrageous. It’s all relative.

Chelsea’s hopes of re-signing Lukaku could also be helped by the goal-scoring habit of Tammy Abraham, who’s spent this season on loan at Bristol City and is now just a handful of goals shy of his own stated aim of 30 for the season. According to Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, while Chelsea and Conte “will consider” Abraham for a first-team role next season, the 19-year-old is much more likely to be sent out on loan to either a Premier League or a top Championship side. Chelsea are not selling Abraham, to be sure — he’s already attracting potential bids in the £10-15m range — but a possible loan to Everton, who are said to be interested, could grease the wheels of summer-defining transfers for both teams.

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