Everton now fear Romelu Lukaku will make a move to Manchester United this summer – even if Louis Van Gaal doesn’t get them into the Champions League next season.
Meanwhile Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has made it clear the 22-year-old will not be sold but it appears that privately the club hierarchy are really worried they are fighting almost a losing battle.
And Everton believe Manchester United are in pole position – with Jose Mourinho remains a key factor as he is hot favourite to take charge at Old Trafford this summer and he will obviously bring with him the star attraction and pulling power.
United are currently struggling to make it to the top four and play against Everton on Sunday desperate for points but it may not become the deciding factor in signing big names.
Mourinho was criticised by everyone for giving green signal to Lukaku to leave Chelsea for a permanent deal in 2014 having previously loaned him out twice.
But recent turnarounds have suggested that there is no such problem between the two – Lukaku has even insisted publicly that there is no animosity – and United are desperate to secure his service.
However the Red Devils will face tough competition from Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich but, despite Lukaku revealing he wants Champions League football, he could make a switch to United even if they miss out on that.
It certainly frustrate Chelsea as their expected incoming manager Antonio Conte who is planning an overhaul of the squad at Chelsea this summer has his eyes set on Everton starlet Lukaku for a potential transfer this summer.
United desperately needs a striker and have already contacted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s representatives to sign a big name forward this summer.
The Everton striker has been enjoying an explosive form throughout this season, netting 25 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions for Roberto Martinez’s struggling squad, including both in the 2-0 FA Cup quarter final win over his former team Chelsea.