Saturday 22 October 2016

EXCLUSIVE - Chelsea have NOT bid for Romelu Lukaku

Published 05/08/2016 | 14:36

Everton's Romelu Lukaku is a reported target for former club Chelsea
Everton's Romelu Lukaku is a reported target for former club Chelsea

Chelsea have NOT made any bids for Romelu Lukaku - and are aware that any bid for the Everton striker would be rebuffed by the Merseyside club.

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The Goodison hierarchy is said to be angry and aggrieved by the very public pursuit by Chelsea of the Belgium international who left Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2014 for an Everton club record fee of £28million having spent the previous season on loan at Goodison.

There is no real surprise, however, given that Everton were made to resist strong-arm overtures from Stamford Bridge over the duration of last summer’s transfer window when John Stones was the player then in Chelsea’s sights.

Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright knocked back three separate bids for Stones and rejected a transfer request lodged by the England defender, stating emphatically that “John is not for sale and we have resolutely turned down offers from another Premier League club for our player”.

Then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, in breach of Premier League rules, spoke openly of “trying to buy” Stones and Chelsea captain John Terry added: “Chelsea are looking to the likes of John Stones for the future, so the club will continue to grow and do well.”

Though Mourinho has been replaced as manager by former Italy coach Antonio Conte and Chelsea’s target now is Lukaku and not Stones, a feeling of Groundhog Day still prevails as well as frustration for Everton as they believe that Chelsea ought to be aware from events of only 12 months ago that they do not conduct business in such a manner.

Everton remain aware that there is dialogue between Chelsea and Lukaku via the 23-year-old’s advisers and that their attempts to unsettle and destabilise a player that new manager Ronald Koeman considers key could, ultimately, have a detrimental effect on the club.

There is also a strong sense at Goodison that Chelsea is a club which says one thing and then does another, with their hypocrisy highlighted by their reported anger over Atletico Madrid’s public pursuit of Diego Costa this summer - which has prompted the London club to send two legal letters threatening to report the Spanish club to Fifa for attempting to unsettle their player – while they very publicly pursue Lukaku.

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