Lukaku would welcome Roo arrival
Tue, 23 Jul 2013 06:53:00
Romelu Lukaku would welcome the competition provided by Wayne Rooney if Chelsea can persuade Manchester United to sell them the England star.
After impressing on loan at West Brom last term, Belgium forward Lukaku has scored in each game of Chelsea's pre-season tour of Asia, during which Jose Mourinho's bid to land Rooney has been made public.
Lukaku said: "You know when you are playing for a team like Chelsea, there is going to be competition.
"It is the manager's choice. You have to accept that you have to work hard to make it a successful squad.
"If he is part of our team I will welcome him with open arms."
There is still some way to go for Rooney to swap the red of United for the blue of Chelsea and, whether the 27-year-old moves to Stamford Bridge or not this summer, Lukaku is determined to make an impression in the forthcoming campaign.
"I feel I am making an impact," he said.
"This pre-season it is important for us to get some performances under our belts.
"I am confident in my qualities and I am just keeping going like I have been doing. Hopefully I will continue to do so.
"I can score more goals, I can get more assists. I can do more for the team.
"I can score with both feet and with my head. I am very quick and skilful.
"I can do a bit of everything but I can improve on things as well.
"I have to keep improving. Training is going well as well so hopefully I will improve much more by working hard there."
In appraising the strikers currently at his disposal - Lukaku, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres, who is not on the Asia tour due to a break following the Confederations Cup - Mourinho spoke of the need for a player who can operate in close quarters in a reminder of why Rooney is his sole transfer target.
Lukaku is confident of developing that skill.
"He is the manager and he has a vision of the way he wants to play," Lukaku said.
"The players have to improve to do that. I certainly have it in me.
"He is very direct - and I love that. It is important. If he has something to say to you, he says it. That is a good thing.
"He is very direct and in your face."
Mourinho is building towards the first competitive game of the season, against Hull on the opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League campaign.
His selection hinges on internationals the previous week - Spain travel to Ecuador and Torres, Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta may return just 24 hours before the August 18 fixture with Hull.
Chelsea's involvement against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup on August 30 necessitates that the Aston Villa match is moved, but a date is still to be confirmed.
"The team will be decided game after game and week after week," Mourinho added.
"I will have to think about two or three matches at the same time."
In a World Cup year, international fixtures have an added importance and Mourinho hopes to support Roy Hodgson's England.
"I will be very happy if England can succeed and my English players; I know there are not many," Mourinho added.
"I will do with my English players everything I can to support them."
One English player Mourinho rates highly is Nathaniel Chalobah, who spent last season on loan at Watford, where he was deployed in midfield.
Chalobah has played in the centre of defence under Mourinho, but will be allowed to go out on loan for one final season before challenging for a place in the Blues' first-team squad.
"We are thinking of letting him go on loan for a last season," the Portuguese said.
"That is our intention. He knows. We have discussed that with him.
"He is a very, very good player. I like him very much - very, very much. I am very impressed.
"For sure, a Chelsea player (in future), for sure. We think he is there.
"He could be in our squad already. But we think one more season and it will be his last one out on loan.
"We will see whether or not it is a Premier League club."
Mourinho also intends to send Josh McEachran, Lucas Piazon and his fellow Brazilian Wallace out on loan for the forthcoming campaign.