Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has reportedly informed friends that he wants to re-join Chelsea this summer, a decision which could spark a long, drawn out and ultimately bitter transfer war between the two clubs.

'News' of Lukaku's choice comes from a claim by The Sun, the newspaper currently banned by the Toffees after a malicious recent column about Ross Barkley and the city of Liverpool, with suggestions that the Belgian has made his mind up that he wants to give Stamford Bridge a second go.

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League

Lukaku is known to have ambitions that cannot currently be met by Everton, but his club won't be bullied into selling easily and are thought to have set a world record £100m price tag.

Chelsea's strained relationship with the Merseysiders could also make things difficult. Any rapport with Everton was left in tatters two years ago when Chelsea made multiple failed attempts to prise John Stones away from Goodison Park, unsettling the young defender.

Everton are therefore apparently 'vehemently opposed' to doing any business with Chelsea and also retain hope, The Sun says, of keeping hold of Lukaku beyond the summer.


It is even said that if the likely Golden Boot winner absolutely insists on leaving, Everton would rather see him join Manchester United instead of having to deal with Chelsea. The problem there could arise from reservations about working with Jose Mourinho again, though.

It comes as fresh doubts emerge regarding Diego Costa's future at Chelsea. According to the Daily Mirror, the Premier League leaders are worried that the Spain international has had his turned by another lucrative offer from a Chinese Super League club.

Costa, who hasn't scored in his last five Premier League games, briefly fell out with Antonio Conte over the existence of an offer from Tianjin Quanjian in January and it is rumoured that the player knows about a new offer worth £34m-per-year after tax.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League

Wages that high, equating to around £650k-per-week, would make him the highest paid player in the world. Chelsea apparently fear the distraction it has caused is the reason behind Costa's recent slump in form - the longest goal drought of his Chelsea career.

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