Anderlecht has confirmed for the first time they and Chelsea are
in discussions over Romelu Lukaku moving to Stamford Bridge.
And the transfer could involve Kevin De Bruyne joining the Brussels club on loan, with the midfielder admitting he was keen to leave Genk for the Blues and be farmed back out to his native Belgium.
Lukaku, 18, has long been linked with Chelsea, who he has confessed to support.
Rumours have been rife that Anderlecht general manager Herman van Holsbeeck had visited London to thrash out a deal with the Premier League club. And he has now confirmed that he has been in talks with them, in addition to other clubs, amid reports Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham is also interested in the teenager.
Van Holsbeeck told Sky Sports: "There is still a long way to go in the negotiations. We are indeed negotiating with Chelsea, but there are other clubs we are talking to."
Van Holsbeeck refused to put a timescale on any deal, saying: "It could happen in the next half hour, it could take until August 31 - that is football."
Lukaku's Belgium team-mate De Bruyne could be used as a makeweight in any deal, with the 19-year-old midfielder revealing that would be acceptable to him were he to sign for Chelsea.
"I have had time to think about my future and I would love to join Chelsea, but the important thing next season is that I play," he said. "With Chelsea, there is not that guarantee, but there would be at Anderlecht and they would be an ideal springboard for me.
"I know Genk are in the Champions League but they must get through two rounds anyway, and if I can improve sporting wise and obviously financially, then I hope Genk will not put any obstacles in my way."
De Bruyne's agent denied his client's loan move to Anderlecht would be dependent on any Lukaku deal. Patrick de Koster said: "No, that is not the case. Kevin, though, is happy with the prospect of joining Anderlecht - he has stated that himself.
"He knows Chelsea have a history of this (loaning out players) and, if you do well, you will get your chance. And, yes, although he would benefit financially from this move, he is young and this is about his career and sporting opportunity."