Chelsea are to demand the services of Ross Barkley if Everton are to hold onto their Belgian striker on a permanent basis.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho sees Barkley as a natural successor to Frank Lampard, who has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy in the summer.
The 20 year-old midfielder has been a revelation in the Premier League this season with a number of excellent individual displays. His impressive performances have not eluded the eyes of England manager Roy Hodgson, with Barkley touted for a World Cup place after previous England call-ups.
It will be a test of Everton’s desire to hang onto Lukaku, whose twelve goals have aided the Toffees’s hunt for Champions League qualification.
The striker was unexpectedly loaned out to Goodison Park on deadline day of last summer, after talk of his relationship with Mourinho having soured days following his disappointing penalty miss in August’s UEFA Super Cup.
It being World Cup year, Lukaku was understandably concerned about his Belgium chances and moved to Merseyside in an attempt to cement his place in Marc Wilmots’s 23-man squa, ,with Mourinho sanctioning the move.