Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Lukaku would relish Rooney rivalry

Romelu Lukaku, right, wants to nail down a starting berth in the Chelsea team

Romelu Lukaku would relish the competition provided by Wayne Rooney if Chelsea can seal a deal for the Manchester United striker.

Rooney will be the subject of a third bid from Chelsea after the bank holiday encounter at Old Trafford, when Belgium forward Lukaku aims to start and build on his 17 goals on loan for West Brom last term.

"Every player wants to be in the best team there is," Lukaku said. "If a player can improve us, why not? Samuel Eto'o, Wayne Rooney, I have heard everyone. I am not scared. Let them come."

Lukaku began the season as a substitute, replacing Fernando Torres against Hull and Demba Ba against Aston Villa, and plans to take his opportunity when it is given.

"I'm getting closer to where I need to be and hopefully also closer to the starting line-up, my main ambition," the 20-year-old former Anderlecht striker added.

"If I keep working hard, like I'm doing now, showing the talent that I have hopefully I get to start in the next game.

"Compared to the first year, when I arrived here it was all about learning and taking a bit off all the players, now it's about starting games."

The physically imposing Lukaku offers a different attacking threat for Chelsea and is often likened to former Blues striker Didier Drogba, who he used to sit next to in the dressing room on his arrival from Belgium.

Mourinho has been wary of the Drogba comparison and Lukaku is too.

"There will always be comparisons but I have my own name," Lukaku said.

"I am still young and I can still make my own way."

Chelsea play United, Everton, Fulham and Tottenham in their next four Premier League matches and Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup in Prague next Friday, the match which resulted in the Villa match being brought forward.

David Luiz could be fit for the trip to Old Trafford following a hamstring injury, but may be given a further few days to return.

After the opportunity to strike an early blow in the title race, attention then will turn to Mourinho versus Pep Guardiola, the Bayern Munich boss who was linked to Chelsea.

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