The Times claim that Chelsea made a club record bid worth a massive £70 million in their attempts to sign former player Romelu Lukaku from Everton in the summer, and could go back in with a similar off this year too. The Belgian has told the Toffees that he will not renew his contract at the club but bosses are reluctant to allow him to leave.
Lukaku has continued his excellent form throughout the season and Antonio Conte is believed to feel that he could be the perfect partner for Diego Costa or a replacement should the Spaniard leave the club, so much so that he was prepared to spend £20 million more than the club’s transfer record.
Another potential summer addition could be Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain after the Italian midfielder’s agent, Donato di Campli, hinted that he may leave the French club. Mirror and the Daily Mail report on quotes from Gazzetta dello Sport in which he said:
“The situation is very complicated – he has a very good contract until 2021. He wants to win and PSG, like it is, cannot win. He has been in Paris for five years now and he has to make a decision: earn a lot and not win or earn and become a champion. It is not a problem of money. Whoever signs Verratti will pay him a lot of money. One thing is certain: if he leaves PSG, it will be for a top European club. There are some top Italian clubs but I have my doubts Italy will be his final destination. Spain, the Premier League or the Bundesliga? A top European club.”
Verratti is reportedly upset by the club’s humiliation by Barcelona in the Champions League and could consider his future, though, like Lukaku, Unai Emery and co. are unlikely to allow him to leave without a fight.
An alternative could be Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, as the Evening Standard say that he is happy to move to London following reports in the Telegraph linking him with a move to Stamford Bridge. Tottenham are also said to be tracking the situation of the England international.
Criticised for his lack of consistency at times, he benefits from offering homegrown status on top of the five goals and seven assist that he has to his record in 30 games so far this season as the 23-year-old shows continued signs of improvement.