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Chelsea make Lukaku top transfer target

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Antonio Conte has laid out his demands, and they include Everton’s star man.

Everton v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

This is the song that never ends

It just goes on and on my friends

Well, we’re back yet again with another update in the Romelu Lukaku transfer saga. Will he stay? Will he go? Are there enough suitors for Everton to negotiate a good profit?

The club recently slapped a world record asking price on the big Belgian (and in the current climate, it’s hard to blame them), but that doesn’t seem to be deterring Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, with the manager saying the following over the weekend:

We are in a period of transition. In this season, we have lost Ivanovic, Mikel and next season we lose John Terry.

We are talking about players who wrote the history of this club. They won a lot. Now we have to find the right substitutes for these players and then work to put these players at the same level.

The Mirror goes on to note that along with Virgil van Dijk (another player Everton have been linked with), Lukaku is target #1 for the other Blues in the upcoming transfer window.

It’s becoming clear that if Lukaku is to depart this summer, Stamford Bridge is the overwhelming favorite to be the destination.

Everton, for their part, are doing everything possible to keep the player. There’s not going to be any replacing Lukaku’s production or ability on the transfer market, even if Chelsea were to throw in Tammy Abraham or Michy Batshuayi on top of a fat stack of cash.

The good news is that Moshiri and company don’t need the money from a Lukaku sale. The bad news is that they can’t force the player to sign a new contract, which means he’ll have to move on so the club don’t risk losing him for nothing.

It’s a tricky situation, but Everton could be in a far worse negotiating position. Lukaku is perhaps the most accomplished forward in Europe for his age bracket, is almost assuredly going to win the Golden Boot, and still has time remaining on his contract (more than Ross Barkley, in fact). Any fee, be it this summer or in 2018, will be absolutely monumental.

If and when Lukaku does move on from Goodison Park, Everton are in good shape to make the best of a bad situation thanks to the leadership of Farhad Moshiri, Steve Walsh, and Ronald Koeman.