Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo in animated discussion with Romelu Lukaku amid talk of summer transfer

Chris Bascombe
A fresh approach for Romelu Lukaku looks inevitable this summer - Reuters/YouTube

Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo did not disguise his admiration for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku as the pair chatted and shared an embrace following the clubs' meeting on Sunday.

The duo were filmed in an animated discussion in the player's tunnel following Chelsea's 3-0 win over the Merseysiders. While the topic of conversation could only be speculated upon, the fact Lukaku is keen on a return to Stamford Bridge - and Emenalo is eager to re-sign the Belgian striker - made it inevitable tongues will wag.

It was an Emenalo who first recruited Lukaku from Anderlecht in 2011, part of a strategy of signing Europe's emerging talents with an eye on the long-term at Stamford Bridge. 

Emenalo and Lukaku deep in conversation after Sunday's match Credit: Youtube/Claude Atcheba

Emenalo might feel both vindicated and frustrated by Lukaku's progress since he left Stamford Bridge in search of regular football, with Everton placing a valuation of £100 million on the Premier League top goalscorer. That is a hefty price to pay for a player Chelsea once had.

Lukaku has rejected a new deal at Goodison worth £140,000 a week and made it known he wants Champions League football.

Chelsea are likely to need a replacement for Diego Costa, who appears to be heading to China at the end of the season.

The Londoners were interested in taking Lukaku back last summer but were thwarted by Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

A fresh approach looks inevitable this summer, although it remains to be seen if Everton's valuation is prohibitive or simply the start of the negotiation. Lukaku still has two years left on his existing deal.

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