Everton target Chelsea star as Lukaku replacement

Everton are ready to turn to Demba Ba with a deal to keep Romelu Lukaku at Goodison Park next season unlikely, according to reports from the Daily Mail.

The Belgian World Cup star fired 16 goals for the Toffees last term during his temporary switch for Chelsea, and now looks set for a fresh loan move away from Stamford Bridge with Atletico Madrid leading the chase.

Roberto Martinez was keen to keep Lukaku, but with the likelihood of doing so slim, Ba is seen as a good option.

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The Spaniard chased Ba last year, and is understood to be discussing the Senegalese forward with the Londoners now.

Ba is likely to be allowed to leave after falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following Diego Costa’s arrival, and is thought to be keen to play regularly in England despite interest from abroad.

The only real stumbling block for Everton is the 29-year-old’s £80,000-per-week salary which is way beyond the payment they typically hand their stars.

Chelsea may supplement his earnings to get him off of their books, which could allow the Merseysiders to get a deal done.

Alternatively a loan switch may work, with the Blues, again, paying some of Ba’s salary.