Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea match United's Lukaku bid - reports

Chelsea have matched Manchester United's £75million bid for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, according to reports.

It seemed early on Thursday as if United were edging closer to a deal for their primary summer target in a move which would see the Belgian reunited with manager Jose Mourinho.

However, the significant progress they thought they had made was knocked back by the Merseysiders, who countered claims a deal had been agreed.

That left Chelsea, who appeared front-runners in the race to re-sign their former player, with an opening to still make a late intervention, and numerous reports on Friday evening suggested the Premier League champions have now matched the Red Devils' bid.

There was no comment from either Chelsea or Everton when contacted by Press Association Sport on Friday evening.

The man himself, who has regularly voiced his desire to play in the Champions League, remained in Los Angeles as speculation over his future mounted.

United are due to fly to California on Sunday to start their pre-season tour against the Los Angeles Galaxy the following weekend and the 24-year-old, who has been on holiday on the west coast of the United States, is staying in America for the time being.

Lukaku has been holidaying with close friend and United midfielder Paul Pogba and early on Friday morning the £89million world-record signing posted an Instagram story of the pair training together at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Most of Everton's players have returned to pre-season training - new signings Jordan Pickford, Sandro Ramirez and Mason Holgate have been given extra time off after their involvement in the European Under-21 Championships - but it is believed Lukaku has also been granted additional days.

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