By Amir Mir
Everton are set to slap a £75million price tag on striker Romelu Lukaku to deter Chelsea from signing him this summer, according to a report.
It was reported on Thursday morning that Chelsea had tabled a stunning £50million bid for Lukaku two years after his £28million exit from Stamford Bridge.
The Daily Mail claim that Antonio Conte is a fan of the Belgium forward, but Real Madrid and Spain striker Alvaro Morata is still his preferred target.
It is said that the Toffees will look to price Lukaku out of reach by upping their valuation by £10 million from £65million for the 23-year-old and have offered him a new contract in order to fend off persistent interest from the London club.
The powerful centre-forward scored 25 goals in all competitions last season as the Merseysiders finished a disappointing 11th in the Premier League, despite the Blues producing attacking displays and scoring 59 goals in the process.
The view from Everton supporters is that the bottom half finish last term would have been a lot worse had it not been for their star striker.
Lukaku arrived in England in 2011 as an 18-year-old when he made a £20 million switch from his home country to Chelsea.
But, after three years, and 15 appearances, the Belgian made an Everton club record £28million switch to Goodison Park after impressing during his 16-goal loan spell the season before.
In other Everton transfer news, the clubs pursuit of this £20million rated midfielder has hit a stumbling block over the player’s contract demands.