The London Evening Standard have provided an update on Chelsea’s pursuit of Everton talisman Romelu Lukaku.
The Standard report that the club’s hierarchy are growing confident that Lukaku will be a Chelsea player come August, when the Premier League champions take to the stage against Burnley at Stamford Bridge. There are, however, a few creases to iron out before the transfer goes through.
As per the Standard, Everton are demanding a world-record £100M fee in exchange for Lukaku, an asking price that Chelsea are seemingly unwilling to meet. It is reported that Chelsea are willing to pay £80M, which according to The Sun, would make him the joint third most expensive player of all time, behind Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale and level with Cristiano Ronaldo.
As per the Standard, Chelsea can afford to pay the full £100M to sign Lukaku. As reported by the BBC at the time, Everton forced Man City into paying a highly-inflated £47.5M fee for John Stones last summer, so it would come as no surprise if Chelsea did end up having to pay the full asking price.
The Standard believe that Antonio Conte has been pursuing Lukaku since last summer, but has thus far been unsuccessful in his attempts to bring the Belgian back to SW6. If the Standard’s report is accurate, however, he may soon make a long-awaited breakthrough.