Everton may have a new manager and more importantly a new shareholder who has promised a sizeable amount of funds to spend this Summer but it seems they are going to have their work cut out if they are to keep hold of their top stars especially now that interest in both John Stones and Romelu Lukaku seems to be rising.
Manchester City have already a declared an interest in England international Stones and if he is to move to Manchester and link up with Pep Guardiola before the end of the Summer transfer window then it’s going to cost north of £50 million
By Everton’s reckoning if Stones is worth £50m then Lukaku has to be approaching £70m. On his day he is unplayable but for someone with a price tag so high, those days are a few and far between. Euro 2016 saw the best and worst of the former Chelsea forward.
And it’s Chelsea who are believed to be leading a whole host of clubs for his signature in what would be a pretty costly return to Stamford Bridge. Sold by Jose Mourinho back in 2014 he has chipped in 43 goals in 104 league appearances and last season saw an Everton career best of 18.
All the signs are there that Lukaku is going to be one of Europe’s best strikers in the years to come but you get the feeling he is going to need to move from Everton to finally turn all that potential into a glittering career and that move could very well be one back to Stamford Bridge.
Only just not quite yet as Antonio Conte hasn’t quite met Everton’s valuation of the Belgian international. Conte is believed to have tabled a £57m bid for Lukaku and that is somewhat short of the asking price. It seems as if Chelsea are going to have to come back with a much improved offer if they are to bring Lukaku back to West London.
You get the feeling that this is a bid that will test the water and show if Lukaku really has the appetite for a move away from Merseyside. He himself had a decent season at Goodison Park but the rest can’t be said for the majority of the team as Everton woefully underachieved last time around.
Will that season of disappointment be enough for Lukaku to want to leave Everton. If he had a sensational Euro 2016 then you would get the feeling that a move away would be imminent but it’s going to boil down as to whether or not someone is prepared to pay the £70m that Everton are demanding.
That only leaves a handful of clubs that would be capable of spending that much money, the end game now is whether or not that value will scare off that small cabal of clubs who could stump up the cash. I guess we will have to play the waiting game. It will be a long couple of weeks for Everton fans.