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Chelsea open Lukaku talks as another target snubs Everton

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Some eye-watering fees are being thrown around as this transfer saga continues to rumble on

Everton v Watford - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Chelsea have opened talks with Everton over a deal to sign Romelu Lukaku, according to The Times.

The Times’ deputy football correspondent Matt Hughes claims a number of packages are being discussed, with Michy Batshuayi mentioned as a possible makeweight.

Batshuayi is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after growing frustrated at his lack of game time.

However, the Times claims that the 23-year-old is reluctant to move to Goodison Park and instead prefers a move to Monaco.

That would mean a straight cash deal, but Chelsea are unwilling to meet Everton’s £100m valuation.

Report and numbers vary, with the Liverpool Echo claiming are also reluctant to pay any more than £70m for Lukaku, though they would be willing to pay him £200,000 a week.

The Toffees haven’t commented publicly throughout this saga, though given Lukaku has two years left on his deal they remain in a strong position.

Farhad Moshiri’s investment also means there is no financial pressure to sell, something which has forced the hand of the club in the past.

However, their hand is weakened by Lukaku’s quite obvious desire to leave in order to play Champions League football.

This looks like a saga that will drag on for a few weeks yet, but Everton would be wise to bring it to a swift conclusion either way.

The longer it goes on, the more damage it will cause to Everton’s summer and their plans for the new campaign.

Moshiri, Bill Kenwright, Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh need to set a deadline for talks and if no deal is done, then Lukaku stays.

I say that more in hope than expectation though, as I fear this will drag on for some time yet.