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Chelsea willing to spend £70m on Lukaku — report

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As the Álvaro Morata rumors start trending in a direction away from Chelsea (and more towards Manchester United), the Romelu Lukaku rumors continue developing along expected lines.

Here’s Everton boss Ronaldo Koeman, for example, admitting once again that keeping Lukaku is going to be very difficult.

“First of all we like to keep the best players but that’s difficult. We know that’s difficult and I don’t know at the moment if it’s possible. Then we have to analyse the team to see what we need. We need to analyse what we need with the offensive players to score more goals, because the gap between Rom and the rest in terms of goals is too big.”

-Ronald Koeman; source: Guardian

And here’s usual source Matt Law of the Telegraph, with further claims that the desire for a reunion is mutual between the Premier League’s leading goal-scorer and the club he used to love as a teenager. Law even brings up that famous video of a 16-year-old Romelu visiting Stamford Bridge and, much like you or I would, declaring his everlasting devotion to Chelsea, in support of this claim.

Not long after that visit, Lukaku’s dream did come true. He signed with Chelsea in the summer of 2011, part of the youthful, unbridled enthusiasm that was the summer of AVB.

But much like for his manager, Lukaku’s Chelsea dream did not play out as nicely from then on. He spent two of the next three seasons out on loan, before making the second of those loans a permanent stay at Everton. He was allowed to leave without a buy-back clause (and thus a higher fee) — a decision that Law’s report puts firmly on the shoulders of Mourinho, who advised against what other “Chelsea insiders” (i.e. Emenalo) were pushing for — so now we’re looking at having to pay an inflated rate commensurate with all the other inflated transfer values being thrown about on the market these days.

That fee starts around £70m but might go even as high as £100m. The former is what Chelsea are “willing to pay”, apparently, while the latter is the supposed asking price as per a recent story in the Liverpool Echo. Should Lukaku’s return materialize (with or without Tammy Abraham moving in the other direction on loan), it will most likely be for something in the middle of those two values — roughly around three times the £28m we collected from Everton three years ago. That’s a pretty expensive mistake to undo.

Chelsea once spent £10m on an 18-year-old Lukaku with the intent to make him the featured center forward by the second half of the decade. That plan might still come to fruition, just in a bit more complicated and a lot more expensive manner.

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