Chelsea are in advance negotiations with Atletico Madrid to send Romelu Lukaku on loan to the Vicente Calderon stadium next season, reports in Spain claim.
The Belgium international has spent the last campaign on loan at Everton scoring 15 goals in all competitions but he is still out of Jose Mourinho's plans.
Roberto Martinez is desperately trying to keep him at Goodison Park for one more season while Tottenham have also been linked with his services in recent months.
However, according to Spanish newspaper AS, Atletico Madrid are leading the race to secure his services, claiming that they "have almost closed" an agreement with Chelsea for his loan.
Diego Simeone has earmarked him as the perfect replacement for Diego Costa, as the Spanish international nears completing his £32m move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea and Atletico have had a close business relationship since the Blues loaned goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to the La Liga side three seasons ago.
Negotiations between both clubs have intensified regarding Chelsea's interest in both Costa and Filipe Luis – while Tiago will also join the Blues as a free agent after his contract expired at the Vicente Calderon.
Nevertheless, Chelsea are trying to extend Lukaku's current contract in order to secure his long-term future before letting him leave on loan for a third consecutive season.
Meanwhile, Lukaku himself recently suggested a summer exit should Chelsea complete the signing of Costa.
"You know Chelsea: every year they buy a new top striker. I remember me coming into the dressing room last year and seeing Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba and going: 'Whoah! What's happening here?'," he said.
"But no problem. Many clubs are interested in me. At this stage I have to look to myself. I have to play a good World Cup. That's very interesting for all the players looking for a transfer, and I must be one of them. Chelsea know my point of view."