Chelsea is bracing for a double blow with Romelu Lukaku, the man dubbed the new Drogba, seeking a loan move from Stamford Bridge next season.
Lukaku joined the Blues in an £18 million switch from Anderlecht last summer but is unhappy at the fact that he has appeared just eight times this season.
His strong physical resemblance to Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba has not helped his cause much failing to feature at all under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, who replace Andre Villas-Boas in March.
Despite being aware that Drogba is also heading to China after failing to secure a new two-year deal, Lukaku is virtually pleading with Chelsea to send him out on loan.
The 18-year-old is in no rush to sever his ties with Chelsea but is keen to explore the possibility of a stint away from Stamford Bridge next term, according to The Sun.
He said: "I need to play more games. It has not been as I imagined at Chelsea. Both Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo have stuck with experienced players
"I haven't always agreed with their decisions but, as a player, you have to accept the decisions of the coach. I don't have any regrets about joining Chelsea. I've learned a lot.
"Let's wait and see who is appointed Chelsea manager but, as it stands, I'll be going out on loan.”
Stoke have been linked with a move for Lukaku in the past and the Belgian is refusing to rule out any potential suitors, the report added.
He added: "Playing games is the most important thing for my career right now and for that reason it's better to look at other places.
"I leave all options open. I know that I am capable of playing for a top club in Europe, but perhaps it is better that I take one step backwards now so I can then take two forwards.
"My aim is to gain experience and then return to Chelsea. I need to put myself back in the picture so I can play with Belgian national side.”
Chelsea legend Drogba heading for China
Chelsea's Didier Drogba celebrates after their FA Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in London, on Saturday. (REUTERS)
Didier Drogba is headed to China unless the Chelsea management heed requests from veterans John Terry and Frank Lampard to offer him a new deal.
Drogba, 34, is a free agent this summer and has agreed pre-contract terms to join Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in June on a two-year deal worth £130,000 a week after tax after Chelsea refused to give him the two-year deal he wanted, according to the Mirror.
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“I’m desperate for Didier to stay. He is a magnificent player, a machine," said Lampard virtually pleading with Chelsea to keep him at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba scored his eighth goal in eight games at Wembley on Saturday to win the FA Cup for Chelsea as they beat Liverpool 2-1.
The Ivory Coast international has scored 156 goals for Chelsea in eight years and over the last month has netted in the FA Cup semi-final and against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.
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Barring a last-ditch change of heart a move to China is certain.
“As a man I love Didier. Whatever he decides to do, whether he stays or whatever, he will go down as a legend at Chelsea," added Lampard.
“For what he has done at this club he deserves everything. It would be a pleasure to carry on playing with him.”
After the victory over Liverpool Drogba kissed the Wembley turf and a post as he appeared to say goodbye.
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“I kissed the turf to celebrate and remember,” said Drogba whose four goals in four finals is a record.
Skipper John Terry added: “I hope he’ll be back. It will be such a shame because he has been incredible for this club.
“We’ve got the Champions League final and after that hopefully something can be thrashed out and he stays.”