By Dominic Toner
Chelsea are preparing to offer two first-team players in a fresh bid to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Londoners are prepared to include Asmir Begovic and Loic Remy as makeweights in the deal, as they they look to land a third striker to compete with Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi.
It is said that Chelsea have already had a £65million offer for old boy Lukaku turned down. But Stamford Bridge manager Antonio Conte hopes by including two players as part of a mega deal, it will persuade the Toffees to sell their Belgian prize asset.
Reports from the Daily Mail suggest that the Londoners have already had staggering £68million bid for Lukaku rejected as Everton hold out for £75million for the Belgium international.
Begovic has been Chelsea’s number two goalkeeper since joining from Stoke and the opportunity for first-team football at Everton could be appealing.
With Tim Howard leaving the club this summer for the MLS, the Bosnian shot stopper could provide a suitable replacement and challenge Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg for the No1 jersey.
Forward Remy has also struggled to cement a starting place in the Chelsea team and has made just 47 appearances since singing in 2014.
It is believed that Chelsea want the Lukaku deal done before the opening League game against West Ham on 15 August.
Lukaku left Chelsea for Everton two years ago when he became the Merseysiders’ £28million club-record signing following an impressive season on loan at the club.
It would be remarkable if the 23-year-old were to return this summer for a sum that would demolish the British transfer record.
Lukaku has scored an impressive 61 goals in 127 appearances for Everton, including 25 in 46 matches last season in a team that finished 11th in the Premier League.
Everton are increasingly resigned to losing their prize asset, who is almost certain to have communicated his intention to quit to club chiefs.
In other Everton transfer news, they are ready to submit a £17milion bid to land a Sunderland defender.