Romelu Lukaku, 23, is determined to resolve his future quickly.
The Belgian international created a stir before Euro 2016 when he declared that he wanted to leave Goodison Park to play Champions League football. Despite a host of admirers across Europe, including Juventus, only Chelsea have shown a genuine interest in signing the striker.
Lukaku has told friends that he considers there to be “unfinished business” at Stamford Bridge. After joining from Anderlecht in 2011, the Belgian made just 10 first team appearances before being loaned to West Bromwich Albion. He spent a year on loan at Goodison Park before Everton made the deal permanent, signing him for a club record £28m.
Everton, reluctant sellers in this instance, have decided to cash in and agreed Lukaku can leave but have placed a £75m price tag on his head. A bid of £57m from Chelsea has already been rejected but the Blues are expected to return this week with an improved offer.
It will come with a catch: it’s ‘take it or leave it’.
Manchester City have tried a similar tactic in their pursuit of England defender John Stones, 22, and succeeded in re-opening negotiations with the Toffees over a £50m deal.
The Merseyside club are resigned to losing their two star players leaving new manager Ronald Koeman with a massive headache as he seeks to rebuild the club’s fortunes. New co-owner Farhad Moshiri has targeted Champions League football but losing his two star players may scupper that ambition before it is realised.
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