According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea are said to be lining up a £100m bid for Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.
Well, Lukaku has told the Toffees that he won’t sign the new contract that he has been offered – a five-year deal that would make the Belgian the highest-paid player in the club’s history – because he wants to play Champions League football.
That news has attracted the attention of his former club and Premier League leaders Chelsea – who were keen to re-sign the 23-year-old last summer – and Antonio Conte is also a big admirer of midfielder Ross Barkley, whose contract at Goodison Park runs out next summer.
They have been brilliant.
Lukaku is the joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League with 19 goals, and he continues to show that he is a consistently prolific striker at this level.
Some critics claimed the 23-year-old couldn’t do it in the bigger games, but he has also started to prove those wrong this term.
Meanwhile, Barkley has been thriving in the Everton side – especially in recent weeks when he has been given more of a free role by manager Ronald Koeman – scoring four goals and providing seven assists in the top flight.
Chelsea would say yes, Everton might disagree.
The Daily Telegraph suggested this week that the Toffees were keen to insert a buy-out clause of £90m in Lukaku’s new contract, while they would value Barkley highly despite the fact that his own deal runs out in the summer of 2018.
They will want to, yes.
The club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri wanted to push the club on when he became owner and Ronald Koeman would have wanted to do the same after jumping ship from Southampton.
It will be difficult though, and could depend on the mentality of the duo. If the Toffees do demand that they stay at Goodison next season even if there are offers from other clubs on the table, it will rely on the pair continuing to put positive performances in on the pitch.