Antonio Conte tells Chelsea to sign Romelu Lukaku at any price - even £100m
Antonio Conte has told Chelsea that they must re-sign Romelu Lukaku at any price this summer – even if it means meeting Everton’s £100million valuation.
Despite the club making moves for midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, central defender Antonio Rudiger and left-back Alex Sandro, it is striker Lukaku who is Conte’s number one target.
Having told Diego Costa he is not part of his plans by text message, Chelsea head coach Conte is desperate to land Lukaku and is confident the 24-year-old can live up to any price tag.
It is Conte and not club chiefs who identified Lukaku as the man to replace Costa ahead of Alvaro Morata, Andrea Belotti and others.
Conte tried to sign Lukaku for Juventus during the Belgian’s first spell at Chelsea and believes he perfectly fits into his favoured systems of play, as either a lone striker or part of a front two.
Chelsea are in negotiations with Atletico Madrid regarding a return to Spain for Costa and are expected to step up their bid to sign Lukaku soon.
Everton have valued Lukaku at £100m, insisting they will not accept any less, but that has not scared off Conte who has made it clear to Chelsea that he wants the player at any cost.
It will now be down to whether or not director Marina Granovskaia can negotiate Everton’s asking price down or whether she is willing to make Lukaku the world’s most expensive footballer.
Manchester United have also shown an interest in Lukaku, but the former Anderlecht youngster favours a return to Chelsea where he feels he has unfinished business.
A boyhood fan of the club, Lukaku did not score a single goal for Chelsea in his first spell that lasted three years, during which time he was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion and Everton.