Romelu Lukaku is “not the finished article" and Chelsea should be looking elsewhere to replace Diego Costa, says Tony Cascarino.
It could cost them close to £100 million to secure his signature for a second time, with a Premier League rival understandably reluctant to part with a man who has netted 71 times in 133 appearances.
The former Chelsea striker told FourFourTwo: “To replace someone of Costa’s quality, you’re looking beyond Lukaku. He’s not the finished article.
“You should be looking at [Robert] Lewandowski or [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, who’s lightning quick; [Antoine] Griezmann or someone like that.
“There are players out there, but there aren’t many of that proven quality to replace Diego Costa.”
While a big fan of Costa, who netted 20 times in 2016-17 to help Chelsea to the Premier League title, Cascarino acknowledges that Conte may be better free of his problematic attitude.
He added: “To be honest, I envisage that Monday morning at Cobham [after title win], Costa was knocking on the manager’s door moaning about something.
“There are certain players who just drive you crazy. He’s had three good seasons, won titles, but he doesn’t want to be there. You don’t ever keep a player who doesn’t want to be at your club.”
The arrival of Costa in 2014 helped to convince the Blues that they no longer needed the Belgian, but they will need added firepower this summer after informing their current top marksman that he is free to move on.