Romelu Lukaku to join Chelsea, with Charlie Austin to Everton

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Romelu Lukaku, Everton

Everton are set to clear the way for Romelu Lukaku, 23, to join Chelsea by moving for Southampton’s Charlie Austin, 27.

The Toffees are bracing themselves for an improved bid from the Blues after Chelsea struggled to an opening Premier League weekend win over West Ham United.

The summer has been dominated by talk of Lukaku’s return to Stamford Bridge but as of yet, the Londoners have not bid enough to bring Everton to the negotiating table. A revised offer of around £70m is expected this week.

The Merseysiders have steadfastly held out for £75m for the Belgian international but it seems the imminent closure of the transfer window has focussed minds.

Austin was signed by Ronald Koeman when in charge at St Mary’s but the Southampton striker has made just two Premier League starts for the Saints since his £4m move from Queens Park Rangers in January 2016.

Injuries interrupted his time on the south coast but he was a late substitute during their opening day draw with Watford. New Southampton boss Claude Puel prefers the speed of Shane Long to Austin’s more predatory instincts.

Koeman is also interested in Sporting Lisbon’s Islam Slimani, 28, but West Bromwich Albion have already bid £21m for the Algerian international. With Everton waiting for Chelsea’s next move, Tony Pulis has stolen a march on his Premier League rivals in the race to bring the prolific striker to England.

 

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