Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has slapped a £20m-plus price tag on striker Romelu Lukaku after his relationship with the Belgium international deteriorated.
Lukaku is poised to return to Stamford Bridge this summer after spending the season on loan with Everton, where he has netted 12 Premier League goals in 24 appearances. The 20-year-old is widely regarded as one of the most promising forwards in Europe, but Mourinho is prepared to sell him if a club comes in with a satisfactory offer, according to the London Evening Standard, following a public falling out with the youngster.
Mourinho accused Lukaku of being “overly talkative” with the press back in November, before stating that he would be the one to decide whether or not he stays at Stamford Bridge next season after the 6ft 3in frontman told reporters he was considering staying with the Toffees for another campaign.
Lukaku, who arrived at Chelsea for an initial £10m fee - potentially rising to £17m in add-ons - back in 2011, having made a huge impact with Anderlecht in the Belgian Pro League, appeared to feel let down by Mourinho after being overlooked as the Portuguese coach’s first-choice striker during the opening matches of the season.
The Antwerp-born star felt as if his exploits with West Brom during the 2012/13 campaign - in which he scored 17 goals in 35 league matches - had earned him a shot at leading the Blues’ forward line, and subsequently forced through a loan move to Goodison Park after failing to cement a starting spot back in August.