Everton face stiff competition from Italian champions in their pursuit of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgian enjoyed a successful spell on Merseyside last season, scoring 15 goals as the Toffees amassed their highest-ever Premier League points tally of 72.

But Roberto Martinez faces a struggle to lure Lukaku back to Goodison Park after Serie A title holders Juventus entered the race to secure him, reports from Italy claim.

The Turin giants, like Everton, want to take Lukaku on loan for a season with a view to buying him next summer.

Newly appointed manager and one-time Tottenham Hotspur target Massimiliano Allegri wants to weigh up his side's firepower before making a decision and Samuel Eto'o is also on the Bianconeri's radar.

Lukaku has failed to make an impression at Chelsea and has made just 10 appearances since joining the club from Anderlecht in 2011.

Jose Mourinho looks like starting the season with a strike force consisting of Diego Costa, Fernando Torres and Stamford Bridge hero Didier Drogba, who is close to signing a one-year deal with the Blues.

Drogba's return, as well as Mourinho's propensity to play a lone striker supported by an attacking trio of midfielders, means Lukaku would likely be used as a squad player, a position the 21-year-old is uncomfortable with.

"What I don't want is to be loaned out," Lukaku said, as quoted in the Mirror.

"I am 21 and I have been loaned for the last two seasons. Thibaut Courtois was loaned for three seasons and will be without doubt be the first-choice Chelsea goalkeeper."

"And Kevin De Bruyne has been transferred permanently to Wolfsburg. They are free in their heads - it is not my case. That would free me totally."