By Derek Smithson
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has identified Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi as his number one target to replace Romelu Lukaku, according to a report.
TeamTalk claim that the Toffees boss wants to bring the Blues striker, who scored 11 goals last season across all competitions, to Goodison Park.
It is understood that the Merseyside club are coming to terms with the fact they may lose Lukaku in the summer.
The report details that Chelsea are in the running for his signature and are willing to pay £80million for his signature, but Everton are looking for closer to £100million.
Antonio Conte’s side are willing to offer Batshuayi in a player-plus-cash deal for Lukaku which could help sweeten the deal, but Monaco are believed to also be interested.
Lukaku, 24, appears destined for Champions League football next year and his impressive 26-goal tally last season across all competitions only enhanced his growing reputation.
The Belgian has become a huge favourite for the Toffees, but may feel he has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge after failing to cut the grade earlier in his career with the Blues.
Batshyuayi was unable to force his way into the Chelsea starting line-up last season and was stuck behind Diego Costa in the pecking order.
However, he still proved a valuable member of the squad and ended up scoring the goal against West Brom which clinched his side the Premier League title.
Football Insider verdict:
Whoever replaces Romelu Lukaku at Everton has an almost impossible job to do as he has been so crucial to them during the last few seasons. The 24-year-old has been one of the most lethal strikers in the top flight and deserves a move to continue his development. Batshuayi would be an interest addition for the Toffees and as close to a like-to-like replacement that they could hope for. He is not at the same level as Lukaku by any means, but has the potential and has a very similar style of play. Batshuayi has shown his glimpses at Stamford Bridge his quality and looks like he could hit 15-20 goals in the Premier League if given regular football.
In other Everton transfer news, the club’s supporters have reacted to interest in a Leicester first teamer.