The most optimistic of Everton fans may have taken stock of the Toffees’ big money purchases recently and thought to themselves that Romelu Lukaku could be having second thoughts about leaving the club this summer.
The Belgian hitman has made no secret about wanting Everton to show ambition, and they have done just that with the acquisitions of Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen.
No such luck, if a report from The Daily Star is to be believed.
Starsport understands the Blues have agreed terms of in excess of £150,000 with the Belgian striker return to Stamford Bridge.
Everton say they want a world record £100m for the 24-year-old.
But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich won’t sanction paying so much for a player they sold to the Toffees for £28m three years ago.
Negotiations look set to drag on through the summer, leading to speculation the west Londoners could turn to Real Madrid hitman Morata.
There have been scattered rumors that Chelsea would like to use Lukaku for the unveiling of their new Nike kits in July, but Everton are holding fast in their valuation of Lukaku, and with good reason.
The player has two years remaining on his contract, and for once, the Merseyside club do not need the money to fund other transfers. Everton are perfectly justified in holding out for the fee they deem fair.
The refusal to budge by both sets of Blues means that negotiations could be a protracted ordeal, but given that Lukaku is likely the best striker available on the market, Everton will know that someone will probably pony up the requested 100 million in time. If not, those at Goodison Park will be happy to have Lukaku around for as long as possible.
Both Everton and Chelsea fans will remember the John Stones saga. The London club were desperate to sign Everton’s homegrown defender, but not enough to meet Everton’s valuation, meaning the player ended up at Manchester City. Could we be seeing a repeat of that situation?