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Arsenal eye Lukaku as Chelsea plot move for Ligue 1 maestro

| 27.01.2014

After shipping out fans’ favourite Juan Mata in this window, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly willing to sell striker Romelu Lukaku in order to fund a move for PSG forward Edinson Cavani in the summer.

This has alerted the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid, who are all thought to be interested in the striker currently wowing on loan at Everton.

England fans are likely to get an eyeful of Cavani at the World Cup, as his Uruguay team are priced up at 7/4 to top Group D ahead of Roy Hodgson’s boys, which rates a decent punt considering the goalscoring form the PSG man and compatriot Luis Suarez are currently in.

While Suarez has flourished in a lead role at Liverpool since serving a 10-match suspension, with an outstanding tally of 22 Premier League goals so far this term, Cavani’s achievements as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s supporting act at the Ligue 1 champions have been no less impressive.

The 26-year-old – who scored an incredible 78 Serie A goals in just 104 league appearances for Napoli – has bagged 13 times already in the French top-flight since his £55m summer move, but is reportedly unhappy at being constantly played out wide by boss Laurent Blanc.

Ibrahimovic is unlikely to be shifted from his role as attacking spearhead at Parc des Princes any time soon and while Mourinho has ruled out buying a striker this January, the Blues will bolster their forward ranks in the summer.

Lukaku has kicked on from a 17-goal league campaign at West Brom last term with nine in his first 18 top-flight matches for the Toffees, but the Special One gave a clear indication by sending the 20-year-old out on loan again that he doesn’t fit into the Mourinho masterplan.

The Portuguese showed the courage of his convictions by selling Mata to a Premier League rival (in name at least) and in an era of Financial Fair Play considerations, any big-money move for Cavani must be offset by recouping at least the £20m paid to Anderlecht for Lukaku in 2011.

Arsenal, whose striker shortage has been well documented, are thought to be keen on bringing in the 6ft 3in Belgian battering ram, as are La Liga challengers Atleti, who will struggle to resist offers for 23-goal hotshot Diego Costa this summer.