The Romelu Lukaku transfer saga shows no signs of abating and every time we convince ourselves Everton are out of the running we are given a glimmer of hope.
On Thursday the Spanish media reported that Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid had agreed a season-long loan deal with Chelsea for the Belgium striker.
On one hand that made perfect sense, given Chelsea were already in discussions with Madrid over their forward Diego Costa, meaning the Spanish side were on the look out for a quick replacement.
However, one the other hand a third successive loan deal would go against what was said at the start of the summer, with Lukaku set to either leave Chelsea permanently or rebuild his career at Stamford Bridge.
Given Lukaku has just two-years on his contract another loan deal would also knock several million off a future asking price should he move on next summer, something Chelsea would surely not want to risk.
Today reports in the same Spanish paper suggest that Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has pulled out of the deal entirely.
Simeone is believed to have the final say on transfers at the Vicente Calderon and although an agreement has seemingly been reached between the clubs, Simeone is not so keen.
Another Spanish Daily, Marca, claims that Atletico have pulled out of a permanent deal too as Chelsea were asking for €30million (approx £24million).
If Madrid are indeed out of the running for Lukaku it would give Everton a bit more initiative in their quest to sign the striker.
However, even if we could stretch to such a gargantuan fee it would leave precious little to spend on other areas of the team.
The squad is looking desperately thin and at least six new faces are needed if we are to compete next season - but is a player like Lukaku worth blowing the budget on?
Given his ability, potential and young age, £24million is a relative bargain, especially when you have players like Adam Lallana going for more!
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