Chelsea considering £100m bid for Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley

Chelsea are weighing up a summer bid to sign Everton stars Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley in a deal that could be worth up to £100 million.

Lukaku has told Everton he will not sign a new contract, while Barkley is yet to extend his deal that will have just 12 months to run at the end of the season.

Chelsea are carefully following the situations of both players and are considering whether to launch a huge offer to sign Everton’s star duo.

Everton value Lukaku over £65m and, despite the fact time is running out on his contract, would not accept less than £30m for Barkley – meaning a deal for both players would not cost under £100m.

That may seem like a huge outlay, but Chelsea received £60m for Oscar and could bank another big fee for Diego Costa, whose future remains in doubt following Tianjin Quanjian’s failed bid to take him to China in January.

AC Milan will make an offer for Cesc Fàbregas, while Nemanja Matic is believed to be considering his Chelsea future after losing his place to the Spaniard in recent weeks, although Matic did return for the FA Cup victory over Manchester United.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte could be in the market for two strikers and has already targeted Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata, who is understood to be keen on a summer switch to Stamford Bridge.

Sources close to Lukaku also claim that the Belgian wants to return to Chelsea and has made his old club his preferred destination after telling Everton that he has no intention of signing the contract that had been awaiting his signature.

Everton had been unwilling to include a buy-out clause under £90m in Lukaku’s proposed new contract, which would have made it incredibly difficult to leave Goodison Park.

Chelsea signed Lukaku in 2011, but sold him three years later to Everton for £28m without the Belgium international scoring a single goal for the club.

Barkley has been on Chelsea’s radar for a number of years and his recent form has resulted in the club reviving their interest in the 23-year-old.

Tottenham had been leading the chase for Barkley, but Chelsea are ready to rival their London neighbours for the midfielder amid interest from both Manchester clubs.

Chelsea know they must keep their homegrown player quota, which could be depleted by the departures of Fàbregas, captain John Terry and Asmir Begovic, intact.

England international Barkley has four goals and seven assists for Everton this season, which is more than both Willian and Fàbregas, and has also formed a good understanding with Lukaku.

As Chelsea found with their pursuit of John Stones two summers ago, Everton will fight hard to keep their star players and will not be bullied into selling Lukaku or Barkley.

As well as facing competition from Manchester United and City for Barkley, United are the most likely rivals to Chelsea for Lukaku, The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has not yet committed to a second season at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United 1 Rostov 0 (2-1 agg)

Manchester United progressed to the last eight of the Europa League after Juan Mata’s goal secured a 1-0 win over Rostov at Old Trafford.

An eye-catching Juan Mata goal secured Manchester United an underwhelming 1-0 win over Rostov to book their passage to the last eight of the Europa League.

Jose Mourinho’s side – held 1-1 in Russia – were wasteful in front of goal for much of the match at Old Trafford and looked to be heading for a goalless stalemate before Mata prodded home 20 minutes from time at the end of a well-worked move from the hosts.

United were dominant throughout, with Rostov offering little attacking threat and generally relying on defensive stubbornness and good fortune – the post coming to their rescue twice in the first half to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic at bay.

The home side suffered the blow of losing Paul Pogba – who enjoyed a strong first half – to a suspected hamstring injury just after the break and their hold on the midfield suffered slightly as a result.

But Mata finished off a fine United move to punish a Rostov error and that goal proved to be enough, though Sergio Romero was forced into a superb late stop to prevent the match going into extra time.

United made an early statement of intent, as Nikita Medvedev was forced to parry Marcos Rojo’s header and then Ibrahimovic struck the post from a tight angle as he pounced on the rebound.

Ibrahimovic made a nuisance of himself again 15 minutes in, but he fired over when trying to beat Medvedev from an acute angle for a second time instead of teeing up Henrikh Mkhitaryan after racing on to Mata’s pinpoint pass.

Mkhitaryan’s involvement steadily became more significant and he was denied a penalty just before the half-hour mark following a blatant push in the back by Medvedev.

The Armenian almost got his revenge shortly after, but he clipped a delicate effort agonisingly wide of the left-hand upright after another fine Mata pass.

Ibrahimovic was then kept out by the woodwork again 11 minutes before the break, drilling a fierce effort onto the right-hand post after cleverly sidestepping Miha Mevlja in the area.

Pogba’s forced replacement two minutes into the second period left United with a creative void in midfield, as his replacement – Marouane Fellaini – provided more of a defensive presence.

And Rostov tested Romero for the first time shortly after – Sardar Azmoun seeing a curling 20-yard effort pushed away by the Argentinian.

That chance marked the switch to a more purposeful set-up from the away side, but that only served to give United more space to attack.

And they took full advantage 20 minutes from time, as United pounced on an error and quickly broke forward, with Mkhitaryan ultimately sending a low cross into the box which Ibrahimovic flicked on to Mata for an easy finish.

Rostov did go close to levelling and taking the match to extra time, but Romero dived down to his right to tip substitute Aleksandr Bukharov’s header around the post in acrobatic fashion and United ultimately clinched their spot in the quarter-finals.

Why is Cristiano Ronaldo so famous?

Playing for both Manchester United and Real Madrid are not the only reasons why Ronaldo is so popular.

It was on the 6th of August in 2003 when Manchester United travelled to Portugal for a preseason friendly against Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side was beaten 3-1 on that specific day, but it was not the result that caught the eye of newspaper headline writers the next day. It was the fact that then Manchester United right-back, John O’Shea, was given a tough time by a young Portuguese player who went by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ferguson refused to leave the country without sorting out a deal for the 18-year-old and eventually a £12.24 million deal was agreed to bring his talent to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo is mainly known for footballing activities. His non-stop goals, hat-tricks, trophies and broken records for both club and country are what make him the man he is today, but it does not just stop there. There is so much more to the Real Madrid man that just goals and awards.

But what makes him so popular with the masses? Why is he idolised by fans from other countries? Here, we take a look at why Ronaldo is such a well-known figure in the world.

5 Incredible achievements with club and country

When he first arrived in Manchester, nobody knew of him. Nobody knew that he would become the best player in the world. However, that soon changed.

Ronaldo netted 84 goals in 196 appearances for the Red Devils, winning three Premier League titles, two League Cup titles, the FA Cup, the FA Community Shield, a UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup trophy with the English club.

He became the then most expensive footballer when he signed for Real Madrid, and he broke and is still breaking records which were considered to be unbreakable. Until today, he has a tally of 390 goals in the La Liga, winning a single La Liga title, two Copa del Rey competitions, a Supercopa de España, two UEFA Champions League trophies, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups with the Spanish giants.

Ronaldo’s personal records with Real Madrid are well worth mentioning. These include the following:

#1 Real Madrid all-time top goal scorer: 390 goals

#2 Fastest player to reach 50 league goals

#3 Fastest player to reach 100 league goals

#4 Fastest player to reach 200 official goals

#5 Fastest player to reach 250 official goals

#6 Most goals scored in seven consecutive league matches: 15 goals

#7 First player to score in eight consecutive match days

#8 Most hat-tricks in Real Madrid’s history: 38

#9 Real Madrid record goal scorer in UEFA Champions League: 78 goals

#10 Real Madrid record goal-scorer in European competitions: 80 goals

#11 Most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League: 95 goals

Ronaldo won the FIFA Player of the Year on four occasions, once with Manchester United and three times with current club Real Madrid.

For Portugal, he has found the net 68 times in 136 international matches so far. In 2016, Portugal were crowned the UEFA Euro 2016 champions and Ronaldo became the most capped player of all-time in the tournament, as well as the first player to score in four consecutive European Championship Finals.

#4 His rivalry with Lionel Messi

People refer to the El Clasico as the best match on the planet between rivals.

In a clash between two of the finest sides on planet earth, play the best players in the world today. The most expensive players are always compared and put against each other, even when there are no historic rivalries like the Real Madrid-Barcelona one.The two geniuses chase each other on and off the field.

The record broken by one is chased by the other, game after game, season after another. Below is a table which compares the main records and numbers set by each player:

The above table shows how close it is to separate the two on the football pitch, and regardless of which team or player you support, this rivalry is enjoyed and cherished by the majority of football fans. The footballing world will miss the two when the moment comes and they call it a day.

Such a rivalry must only be referred to as “clean competition” and it only helps both players to be more popular.

#3 The CR7 brand

Off the pitch, too, the name Cristiano Ronaldo is also very popular. The Portuguese star established his very own fashion brand “CR7” and is now a recognised name around the world.

His first fashion boutique under the name “CR7” was opened in the city where he was born in Portugal, Madeira, and the stores include diamond-studded belts, jeans with leather pockets and patented buckled loafers.

He also opened a museum, Museu CR7, in his hometown of Funchal, Madeira, to display trophies and memorabilia of his life and playing career.

Ronaldo has also established a strong presence within various social media platforms. He is one of the most popular sportspersons on social media and has over 200 million total followers across Facebook, Twitter,Instagram.

He is also the most followed athlete on Twitter with 50 million followers and is the most followed footballer on Instagram with 93 million followers!

#2 His willingness to help others

Being popular and making a lot of money is one of the perks of footballers, but Ronaldo hasn’t forgotten his roots and has, on many occasions, helped those in need, which has been appreciated by even rival fans.

For example, in 2009, Ronaldo donated £100,000 to the hospital that saved his mother’s life in Madeira following her battle with cancer, so that they could build a cancer centre on the island.

The Portuguese star auctioned the Golden Boot he had won in 2011 for €1.5 million and donated the proceeds to schools in Gaza.

Ronaldo is Save the Children’s global artist ambassador, through which he has funded food, clothing, and medical care for families in Aleppo and across Syria during Christmas in 2016.

He sent his support to all the suffering kids with this message: “This is for the children of Syria. We know that you have been suffering a lot. I am a very famous player, but you are the true heroes. Don’t lose your hope. The world is with you. We care about you. I am with you.”

#1 Media attention

Ronaldo rarely speaks to the media, but whenever he speaks, it is because he has something specific to say. He is one of the most popular sportspersons in the world and is always in the limelight, with the media focussing on his performances on and off the pitch, his family, his incredible physique or his charitable causes.

He does seldom use it to trade barbs with rivals, but when he does, his words are ruthless. For example, at the beginning of the 2016/17 season, Xavi Hernandez stated that Ronaldo is unlucky to have played in the same era as Leo Messi, who he claimed was the best in history.

The Portuguese hit back at the former Barcelona captain with a simple message: “I’m the most searched player on the internet. Anyone who wants free publicity or media attention talks about me. I couldn’t care less about what Xavi says about me, as he plays in Qatar or I don’t even know where.”

Ronaldo mostly uses the media to highlight causes that he cares for and uses it to help spread the message. A noble one, indeed.