Chelsea will be asked to pay a British record fee for a centre-forward if they attempt to bring back Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

Along with Alvaro Morata, of Real Madrid, Lukaku is on Chelsea’s short-list of striker targets for the summer — and his apparent reluctance to sign a new deal at Everton has raised the possibility he may be sold at the end of the season.

Everton remain hopeful they can persuade Lukaku to extend his contract, even though the 23-year-old has told club bosses he will not do so.

But if Everton cannot, it is understood they will ask for more than the £65million Barcelona paid Liverpool for Luis Suarez in July 2014 — the highest fee received by a British club for a specialist striker.

Asked at the weekend whether he would sign a new five-year deal at Everton, worth about £140,000 a week, Lukaku simply said: “No.” This ­apparently contradicted the view of his agent, Mino Raiola, who claimed it was “99.99 per cent” likely that the Belgian would stay. Yet, when contacted by Standard Sport today, Raiola — who is also the agent of Paul Pogba and Zlatan ­Ibrahimovic — declined to discuss the matter.