Chelsea have reportedly been told by Everton that striker Romelu Lukaku will only leave Goodison Park for a world-record fee of £100m this summer.
The 23-year-old has yet to sign a new long-term contract with the Toffees to commit his future to the club, and in turn Everton will be left in a tricky situation the longer the saga drags on.
In turn, in order to fend off interest from elsewhere this summer, the Liverpool Echo report that they’ve placed the £100m price-tag on the Belgian international and will only consider allowing him to leave if a club meets their lofty demands.
Lukaku’s current contract runs until 2019, but he has delayed signing an extension with his form this season attracting significant interest as he’s registered his most prolific campaign to date with 24 Premier League goals in 32 outings.
Having made no secret of his desire to play in the Champions League, former club Chelsea have been strongly linked with making a move to take the talismanic forward back to Stamford Bridge with doubts over Diego Costa’s future in west London.
It’s claimed that Everton valued the striker at £70m last year, but given his exploits this season, they believe that his worth has increased and will only listen to offers of around £100m.
With Ronald Koeman confirming last week that Lukaku won’t sign a new contract with the club, it looks as though Everton are ready to play hardball with the likes of Chelsea. Either they will wait for them to meet their valuation, or the Belgian ace will have to honour the last two years of his contract and continue to help the Merseysiders build on their impressive season this year.