Chelsea seeking sheepish reunion with Everton star
The list of prematurely discarded talent at Chelsea has grown to humiliating levels in recent times. That shame is further compounded by a campaign in which their Premier League title defence has amounted to little more than a whimper.
Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne, Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge, Juan Cuadrado and Ryan Bertrand are just a handful of the names that the west Londoners had given up on in the past three years.
Nemanja Matic was another early departee from Stamford Bridge, although the club managed to salvage that particular failure in foresight when buying the midfielder back from Benfica two seasons after letting him leave.
According to the latest witterings on the rumour mill, the Blues could employ that questionable face-saving strategy once again this summer, this time on Lukaku.
The striker, who joined Everton for £26.5m in July 2014, has revelled in the Premier League away from Chelsea. He has 18 goals in the division so far this term, notched 10 last season and scored 15 for the Toffees when on an initial loan spell in 2013/14.
Even before that the brutish striker was proving his suitability to the English game, plundering 17 goals in 35 games on loan at West Brom in 2012/13.
It was seemingly clear to all bar Chelsea that Lukaku was a star in the making, although the London outfit have finally woken up to that fact a little late in the day.
Everton are thought to want double what they paid for the 22-year-old, as their future success depends heavily on a core group of young players in which Lukaku is at the forefront.
The Merseyside club have proven their stubbornness in dealing with Chelsea in the transfer market, having stood firm over the sale of John Stones at the start of this season.
Unless the Blues meet the Toffees’ naturally-lofty estimation of Lukaku’s worth, the Belgian will be going nowhere.
Even then it’s reasonable to suggest the player would rebuff his former employers. After all, the club only believed in his abilities enough to hand him 10 Premier League appearances during his first spell there.
After drawing 1-1 with Stoke at the weekend, Chelsea’s distant top-four dreams all but crashed and burned. Ladbrokes now make the club 22/1 to qualify for the Champions League via the league table.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.