Jul 192014

Everton remain hopeful of fending off late interest from Italian champions Juventus to land striker Romelu Lukaku for a club record fee.

The Belgian World Cup star who netted 16 goals for the Blues while on loan last season would command a price tag in excess of £20million – eclipsing the £15million the club paid for his compatriot Marouane Fellaini six years ago.

Roberto Martinez has played a waiting game since the end of last season in an attempt to make the 21-year-old his big signing of the summer and Goodison Park insiders are now cautiously optimistic that the Catalan’s patience will be rewarded.

Lukaku has been on holiday following his exploits in Brazil but is expected to make a decision on his future this week.

The former Anderlecht man has repeatedly expressed his desire to play Champions League football which Juventus could offer but financial restraints now appear to have cooled their interest after they paid 20 million euros for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

Meanwhile, the Blues have no plans to sell James McCarthy to either Manchester United or Tottenham.

Everton target Muhamed Besic has not been earmarked as a replacement for the former Wigan Athletic man who is settled playing for a manager who has been a big influence on his career.

More on EFC today:

Martinez working on bringing in three new forwards ahead of new season

Royal Blue: Signing a proven goalscorer essential for Toffees to build on promise

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