Chelsea have reportedly made a last-ditch effort to hijack Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to Manchester United by matching the Red Devils’ £75million bid for the Everton striker.
The Belgium international had been linked with the Blues for much of the summer until a stunning turnaround in the last 48 hours or so saw him agree terms on a big move to Old Trafford.
United are still confident they will get their man, with Lukaku in Los Angeles undergoing a medical ahead of linking up with Jose Mourinho’s side for the start of their US tour on Sunday.
Still, Chelsea feel that Lukaku’s preference would still be to return to Stamford Bridge after being sold by Chelsea to Everton in 2014/15.
According to the Daily Telegraph, they have matched United’s offer but will not be able to pay the same kind of agent fees to his representative Mino Raiola.
Chelsea now hope Lukaku will put his own interests ahead of those of his agent, with the west Londoners desperate to bring the 24-year-old back to the club after his huge improvement in four seasons at Goodison Park.
Chelsea are expected to lose star striker Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid this summer, and are struggling to find a replacement as they also look into signing Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.
Conte has reportedly been furious with Chelsea’s poor work in the transfer market this summer, with Lukaku a prime target of his as he looks to improve on the side that won the Premier League last season.
Lukaku shone for Everton, scoring 25 league goals to finish runner-up to Tottenham’s Harry Kane in the running for the Premier League Golden Boot.