Chelsea confident of clinching Romelu Lukaku transfer back from Everton

Chelsea confident of clinching Romelu Lukaku transfer back from Everton

Chelsea believe they can land Romelu Lukaku this summer, with the in-form striker warning he won’t agree a contract extension at Everton.

Optimism has been high at Goodison that the 23-year-old Belgian would commit himself to a lucrative new five-year contract worth £140,000-a-week, keeping him from the champions-elect’s clutches.

But despite his agent Mino Raiola claiming in December and again last month to be “99.9999 per cent” sure he’d sign, Lukaku is now understood to be unwilling to do so — unless a release clause of no more than £70million is included.

It is a huge blow for the Toffees, with Lukaku the scorer of 25 goals in all competitions this season for club and country.

Last season, he was the first Everton player since Gary Lineker in 1985-86 to hit 25 league goals in a single campaign.

It prompted a £57m summer bid from Chelsea to try to take him back following his record £28m move from Stamford Bridge to Merseyside three years ago.

Everton rejected the offer, insisting only a monster bid of around £75m could tempt them to change their minds.

But Lukaku will have just two years remaining on his contract in the summer, which may now force their hand.

He also wants Champions League football next season.

And Chelsea also know the Belgian considers himself to have “unfinished business” at Stamford Bridge after failing to nail down a first-team place during his three years at the club, most of which he spent out on loan.

Paris Saint-Germain have also been long-term admirers of the striker.

Real Madrid and Juventus are also interested, and Manchester United may also be looking for a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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