Everton have told Chelsea they will need to pay £75million if they want to sign star striker Romelu Lukaku this summer, according to reports.
The Belgium international was in fine form for the Toffees last season as he scored 25 goals but he was unable to help his club qualify for Europe.
Roberto Martinez’s side eventually finished in 11th and the Spaniard was sacked as a result, with Ronald Koeman then appointed after he left Southampton.
His first task is to keep hold of Lukaku, but Chelsea’s financial backing could see them seal the deal before the start of the new campaign.
Reports over the weekend suggest Chelsea made a bid of £57million which was rejected, but Antonio Conte has urged the club’s staff to make an offer up to £68million. Lukaku reportedly wants to return to Stamford Bridge but the Toffees are still adamant they want £75million for his services.
Chelsea will need to smash the British transfer record if they want to seal the deal, with Manchester United’s £59.7million deal for Angel di Maria still top of the pile.
Lukaku, who was also been linked with moves to Spain, Italy and France has reportedly been offered a five-year deal and an exit could prove costly for Everton.
Everton are hoping to qualify for the Champions League this year and they can be backed at odds of 11.00 with Dafabet to finish in the top four.
However, Lukaku’s likely exit could leave Koeman short of attacking options just days before the new Premier League campaign.