Both Manchester City and Chelsea see Romelu Lukaku as the ideal Erling Haaland back-up plan as they head towards the next transfer window.
City and the Blues intend to pursue Haaland as their prime forward target, yet if they fail to sign the Borussia Dortmund star then attention will turn to Lukaku. It's a situation that could certainly arise, given both would have to break their transfer record to sign the Norwegian striker. Dortmund do not want to lose Haaland and have set his price-tag at €180m.
Chelsea are on the lookout for a new No.9 while City want to replace Sergio Aguero, after announcing on Monday that he will be leaving at the end of the season. City have known for the past year that this would probably be his last season and even looked into signing Lukaku in 2020, before holding off in case they were able to land Lionel Messi.
Police called to Milan hotel to break up Lukaku birthday party - reports
This time around City could take the Lukaku interest to the next level.
There have been rumours swirling that Lukaku could leave Inter Milan and sources have confirmed that may indeed be the case if the club’s tricky financial situation with their owners, Suning, is not solved soon. Inter are currently top of Serie A and certainly do not want to lose the man who has scored 25 goals in 34 games this term. However, they realise it might become a reality if they do not receive short-term investment that helps them through the tricky situation they are having in accessing funds.
Lukaku was a Chelsea player between 2011 and 2014 but made just 10 appearances, before the club looked into re-signing him four years ago.
The policy of both City and Chelsea going into the summer will be intriguing as they battle for the same players.
We revealed in our first edition of Inside Football in November that City's top priorities by the end of the season were to sign Pep Guardiola to a new contract and sign a new star striker, with Haaland the top choice.
Guardiola is now signed up and Haaland remains the man they would love to lead the attack - but take the Lukaku rumours seriously as he might yet end up heading back to the Premier League. And if it's not City, it will probably be Stamford Bridge.
Sancho wants England return but United hope for cut-price deal
Manchester United are holding back on their pursuit of Jadon Sancho despite an expectation that he will push for a transfer at the end of the season.
Knowledgeable figures within the game have begun signalling that Sancho has a desire to return to English football in time for next season and while United are still keen, they are not getting too excited.
They are still waiting to discover Dortmund’s current valuation of the player and hope it has dropped significantly, as they still will not pay anything close to £100million.
As previously mentioned in this column, they actually feel he is closer in value to £50-60million in this current market but should soon be told what the feeling is from the German club.
United were desperately disappointed not to sign Sancho last summer but harbour no regrets over not caving in to various demands, particularly those of his representatives.
Dortmund’s business this summer is made more difficult by the fact they also need to fight to hold onto Haaland.
It looks as though they are going to try to play the Haaland situation in the same way they fought for Sancho last summer: basically, try to price him out of the market.
Everton tracking Barnsley's American star Dike
Everton are interested in Daryl Dike, the American forward producing great displays at Barnsley.
He is on loan at Oakwell from Orlando City FC and is due to return the US in time for their new season in one month.
However, he has made such an impact in his short spell in the Championship that it is not beyond realms of possibility that he is offered a move to the Premier League before long.
Everton scouts have been impressed with his displays as he has turned in five goals from 11 appearances so far for the Tykes.
It is believed he has a valuation of $20million from MLS if the Toffees do decide to follow up initial interest in the 20-year-old.
Bayern cannot afford Haaland transfer fee: Kahn
Manchester United target £77m Sancho and five more - Paper Round