Chelsea are in pole position to complete the signings of Belgian stars Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne, it emerged today.
The Blues, who have football betting odds of 5/2 for the 2011-12 Premier League title, are long-term admirers of Lukaku and are now speaking to his club, Anderlecht, over a possible transfer.
Lukaku, 18, is a muscular striker who has been described in some quarters as the new Didier Drogba, and he has been tracked by a host of top Premier League clubs in recent years.
However, Chelsea now appear to have won the race to secure his services as they actively aim to find a replacement for the aging Ivorian.
“There is still a long way to go in the negotiations (for Lukaku),” Anderlecht general manager Herman van Holsbeeck told skysports.com.
“We are indeed negotiating with Chelsea, but there are other clubs we are talking to. It (a deal) could happen in the next half hour, it could take until August 31, that is football.”
Meanwhile, De Bruyne, who starred for Genk as they surprisingly won the Belgian title last season, is also set for a move to Stamford Bridge.
According to reports, the 19-year-old winger could be immediately loaned to Anderlecht after completing the formalities of his move to England.
De Bruyne’s agent, Patrick de Koster, revealed that number of clubs came in for his client, but also confirmed that Chelsea are the youngster’s “first choice”.
“Kevin is happy with the prospect of joining Anderlecht (on loan) – he has stated that himself,” he said.
‘He knows Chelsea have a history of this (loaning out players) and if you do well you will get your chance.”
The expected signings of Lukaku and De Bruyne are likely to be the first of several new arrivals at Chelsea this summer.
Tottenham star Luka Modric and Palermo playmaker Javier Pastore are also thought to be on a wish-list seemingly compiled by owner Roman Abramovich as the club remains managerless.
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