Chelsea have reportedly entered into negotiations with Anderlecht regarding the signing of Liverpool target Romelu Lukaku.
The 17-year-old is one of the most hotly-pursued youngsters in European football and is regarded as one of the most exciting teenage prospects on the continent.
Unsurprisingly, the Belgian striker has been the subject of intense interest from a number of potential suitors and, according to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea have stolen a march on their rivals.
Liverpool have found themselves regularly linked with the young powerhouse - as have Arsenal and Manchester City - and Lukaku has previously revealed his intention to one day play in the Barclays Premier League.
"Chelsea and Arsenal tried to sign me when I was 13, 14," Lukaku told Goal.com UK.
"I have never hidden it, but it is not because Chelsea is my favourite team that I have to go there. There is also Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. These big five are very interesting."
Anderlecht are reportedly holding out for a fee in the region of £25 million for their prized asset and - with their significant financial clout - Chelsea would seemingly be the favourites for Lukaku's highly-coveted signature.
However, Liverpool are not thought to have given up on the 6ft 3in forward and are said to be monitoring the situation closely.
Liverpool owners New England Sports Ventures (NESV) are known to be keen make a more concerted effort to invest in young talent and Lukaku appears to have been identified as potential acquisition.
Should Liverpool pull off a deal for the starlet then it would represent quite a coup for the Anfield club, but they are seemingly destined for failure with the lure of Champions League football likely to be too much for Lukaku to resist.
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