Romelu Lukaku could make a sensational return to Chelsea — but Manchester City are currently offering the Belgian more cash.
According to LiveScore’s transfer insider Dean Jones, the European champions are in the market for a forward this summer.
And following the departure of ex-Blues boss Antonio Conte from Inter Milan last week, they are attempting to lure Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.
Yet Jones has revealed the Londoners face stiff competition from Premier League title-holders City, who have not only entered the race for his signature but are also thought to have tabled a more lucrative opening offer.
Blues return on the cards
Lukaku joined Chelsea from Anderlecht back in 2011 as an 18-year-old but only featured sparingly in a three-year stint.
Loan spells with both West Brom and Everton offered him a first taste of Premier League football before he made a permanent move to Goodison Park in July 2014 for £28million.
Now considered one of Europe's most prolific marksmen, the 28-year-old could be set for a remarkable return.
Jones said: "Chelsea have already been in touch with Lukaku and his representatives about the chances of him joining the club this summer.
"We are in the early stages of negotiations, so let’s not get too excited — but yes, this could definitely happen.
"Lukaku has always been open to the idea of going back to Chelsea and proving himself. He almost did it in 2017 but they couldn’t get the deal over the line and Jose Mourinho ended up taking him to Old Trafford instead.
"This time, however, I’m told Roman Abramovich is driving this deal. He wants Lukaku back at Chelsea."
City 'offering more money'
Securing the signature of the Belgian is unlikely to be straightforward, with City also keen on the man who led the line for arch-rivals Manchester United between 2017 and 2019.
Jones added: "Manchester City have already been in touch, too, which is obviously not good news for Chelsea.
"From what I’m told, following the initial talks on both sides, City are currently offering more money.
"So if Chelsea want Lukaku, they are probably going to have to make him their highest-paid player.
"There’s still quite a long way to go on things, though — and it’s also worth throwing in that Antonio Conte hasn’t yet got a new club yet.
"Wherever he goes, if he’s after a No9 he’s sure to be knocking on Lukaku’s door.”