As part of a doomed-to-fail plan to keep the clearly unsettled Romelu Lukaku, Everton are allegedly preparing to offer the Belgium international an enormous new contract.
Lukaku netted 18 Premier League goals in just 36 starts last time around but, unimpressed with the Toffees’ 11th-place finish, he’s set his sights on a Champions League club, or so he said back in March.
According to the latest transfer speculation, however, a move to Chelsea, who finished one place higher than Everton in 2015/16, appears his most likely destination should his current employers decide to sell.
Their apparently non-negotiable £75m asking price is proving an insurmountable stumbling block at present, though they may yet have to lower these demands if Lukaku refuses to extend his stay at Goodison Park.
A reduced fee is still certain to far exceed anything Everton have previously received for a player and it’s not as though they’d struggle to replace their talisman.
The amount they’d likely trouser for Lukaku would be enough to sign Wilfried Bony and Christian Benteke, for instance.
Scoring regularly at Premier League level is something either player is capable of and adding both to the armoury would solve one of the Toffees’ less-pertinent problems.
Lukaku scored 18 in the league last term, playing all bar one of their top-tier matches.
Fortunately for Everton, he avoided any significant injury layoffs, but with the second-most prolific goalscorer behind him, Ross Barkley, bagging only eight, had the Belgian succumbed to a serious ailment, their well-documented disaster season would’ve much worse.
Augmenting the goal threat with two proven marksmen would make Everton a far more dangerous outfit as they bid to land odds of 11/1 about a top-four finish.
But persisting with the lost cause of trying to keep Lukaku may see the solution to their situation slip through their fingers.