Chelsea have told Everton they do not want to include Tammy Abraham in any deal to sign Romelu Lukaku, as they believe he could be an elite talent.
Everton have been impressed by Abraham and have opened the idea of including him in a possible deal for Lukaku – should he move to Stamford Bridge this summer – but Chelsea are not keen.
I am told that Middlesbrough, using trusted football consultant Peter Kenyon, have all but agreed a deal in principle with Chelsea – should they want him to go back out on loan, which appears the most likely situation.
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Newly promoted Brighton, Burnley and Watford have also expressed a desire to take him on-loan but Chelsea want him to get first-team action, and he has more chance of doing that in the Championship, so they are understood to be keener on him stay at that level.
I also understand up to half-a-dozen Premier League rivals, including Everton and Leicester – have expressed an interest to sign him on a permanent basis.
But Chelsea believe they could have a potential superstar on their hands. 19-year-old Abraham has scored 26 goals on-loan at Bristol City this term, and Chelsea have been shocked and impressed in equal measure by his impact.
They have a good relationship with Middlesbrough – who have an excellent training HQ and they know treat their players in the right manner, which is why they are keen for that deal to be done – subject to Boro being relegated.
Abraham’s agent Elliot van Til says Chelsea coach Antonio Conte will decide on his future of the England Under-21 striker.
“Tammy has made a statement with the season he has had and shown his enormous potential. For certain his target will be playing regularly in Chelsea first team, we will have to see when that comes. This is a question for Antonio Conte, he must decide whether Tammy is ready or not,” Van Til told IBTimes UK.
“Any striker who scores goals attracts interest. When one does it so young then it’s natural for him to attract even more interest. It has been his first season in senior football and he has done what no other teenager has ever done in the Championship.”
Chelsea are trying to re-sign Lukaku an also want Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, with Diego Costa set to be sold to China – something he wanted for 12-months.
But with Lukaku and Morata in Chelsea’s mind, the chances are they will look for the loan, and if they do Boro would look a likely option – despite the Premier League interest.
We spoke to BetVictor’s Head of ante post Football Michael Triffitt about Abraham.
“Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham has arguably been the loan star of the season and his 23 Championship goals have been an impressive return which look likely to keep struggling Bristol City in the section for another term. However he has now become one of the most wanted players around with a whole host of clubs swarming round ahead of the summer transfer window,” he told TheGamblingTimes.com.
“Middlesbrough head our betting as 4/1 favourites to capture the England Under-21 man. Aston Villa are 6/1 with Sunderland and West Brom both 10/1 after been linked again recently. An intriguing market for sure this one and we await developments with interest.”