Chelsea could turn their attention to Liverpool striker Christian Benteke as if they fail to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton this summer, reports the Daily Mail.
Lukaku joined Everton from Chelsea in 2014 for £28million but they failed to insert a buy-back clause in the contract, which could now cost them dearly.
Everton want £65m to let the striker leave but the 23-year-old is still Antonio Conte’s top target, though Benteke is a cheaper option if Chelsea need to look elsewhere.
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers paid £32.5m for Benteke in 2015 but the 25-year-old does not appear to have won over Jurgen Klopp, and they would be open to offers.
It means Chelsea could tempt Liverpool this summer with a deal that would likely see them offered less than the £32.5m they paid to show the striker the exit.
Italy boss Conte – the incoming Blues manager – is keen to get cover for Diego Costa, who is still wanted by Atletico Madrid, his former club that sold him for £32m in 2014.
It is no secret that Lukaku wants to leave Everton, even though he does not yet know who their next manager will be following the sacking of Roberto Martinez.
Lukaku made just 10 appearances in the Premier League with Chelsea over three years but is keen to prove himself, while Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are among other clubs interested.
Benteke, meanwhile, is said to be keen to stay in England and has 29 appearances in the Premier League to his name with Liverpool, though he started only 14 of them.