Chelsea offer Romelu Lukaku a new deal – with loan option attached

Belgian striker may return to Everton for another season as west Londoners eye Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa

football correspondent

Chelsea are ready to offer Romelu Lukaku a new contract, despite him starting only one Premier League game for the club, and may be willing to loan the striker back to Everton next season to help inflate his value.

Lukaku's prospects at Stamford Bridge will recede even further when the west London side move for Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa this summer. But they are understood to believe that another strong loan season for the Belgian striker – he scored 15 goals in 31 games for Everton in this campaign – could enable them to make a healthy profit on the £18m they paid Anderlecht for him three years ago.

Everton, though, are understood to be ready to use their entire summer transfer budget if Lukaku becomes available and believe they would have to pay £20m to get the player.

However, taking Lukaku on loan for another season would be the ideal option for Everton manager Roberto Martinez, because he needs to bring in three or four reinforcements in the summer to enable the club to combine the Premier League and Europa League next season. If he does buy Lukaku this summer, Martinez will have to look to other loans or sales to raise money for purchases.

Read more: Chelsea hope to seal Costa deal before World Cup

Lukaku, whose future plans will be decided after his World Cup campaign with Belgium, made a huge impact for Martinez last season, and the Everton side did not look as dangerous on the occasions when he was missing from their ranks.

It is that contribution which has left Martinez willing to base the entire summer transfer strategy around his availability.

Lukaku has already needled Jose Mourinho by saying he would like to stay at Goodison for another season. The Chelsea manager retorted that he would be the one who decided. Costa, 25, is a striker far more in Mourinho's mould, and in order to buy him Chelsea are ready to meet the £31.8m release clause in his contract at Atletico.

A Lukaku loan could potentially create space in the transfer budget for Everton to consider a move for Queen's Park Rangers' Loïc Rémy. Martinez is thought to admire the striker, but at an expected asking price of £13m, and with a number of other Premier League suitors to inflate the figure, the Frenchman could cost more than Everton are willing to pay.

Martinez is also waiting on a decision about the future of another of his key loan players last season – Gareth Barry. The 33-year-old is out of contract at Manchester City on 30 June and Arsenal have also expressed an interest in the midfielder, whose positional sense and dependability allowed Ross Barkley to advance and blossom.

One option available to Barry is a move to Major League Soccer in the United States, to play for New York City FC – owned by Manchester City's benefactors. But since that new MLS franchise does not begin playing for another season, Everton will seek to persuade Barry to stay with them for another year.

Martinez also remains hopeful of bringing Jack Rodwell back from City to Everton, believing he can help the midfielder fulfil the potential he showed before leaving for the Etihad.

Martinez's strike-force will be further complemented by the expected return from long-term injury of Arouna Koné, who sustained one of the most severe forms of knee injury last October, in which a part of the cartilage was entirely dislodged.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory