Updates from Thursday, July 31
Jose Mourinho has fired a parting shot at Romelu Lukaku, insisting the £28 million Everton signing never had the heart to fight for a place at Chelsea.
Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror quotes Mourinho saying:
The thinking was, first of all, the fact that Romelu was always very clear with us that in his mentality and his approach he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea.
He wanted to play for Chelsea but clearly only as the first choice striker - and at a club of our dimension it’s very difficult to promise a player that status.
That reduced, immediately, his desire to come to us.
Updates from Wednesday, July 30
Everton announced the signing of Romelu Lukaku:
Helen Mayo of Everton PR provides a photo:
Sky Sports previously reported that Lukaku's move was slightly delayed but that he would become an Everton player:
Everton to complete deal for Romelu Lukaku shortly. Announcement of club record deal delayed while paperwork is being finalised #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 30, 2014
Earlier, Lukaku sent the Twitter world into overdrive on Wednesday, posting the following message to hint he is about to declare where his future belongs:
Time to write a new chapter..... pic.twitter.com/1XNjbYXsl4— R.Lukaku Bolingoli (@RomeluLukaku9) July 30, 2014
Respected Belgian reporter Kristof Terreur summarises a report from DH, which claims Lukaku will pen a long-term contract at Everton:
DH confirm Romelu Lukaku will sign for 5 years at Everton. More info to follow. #EFC— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) July 30, 2014
The Daily Mail's David Kent claims the transfer will net Chelsea £25 million:
Romelu Lukaku is on the verge of completing a £25million move from Chelsea to Everton.
The Belgium striker had been expected to join up with Jose Mourinho's side on Wednesday afternoon but he is now flying to England to seal a five-year, £75,000-a-week deal with the Toffees.
Outside of the Premier League, Wolfsburg have been linked to the Chelsea striker, with Bild reporting a bid of €28 million. Ian Holyman of ESPN FC reports on comments from sporting director Klaus Allofs:
Bild have reported that Wolfsburg bid 28 million euros for the player, a sum that Allofs suggested was too large. He was, however, quoted in the Suddeutsche Zeitung as saying: "We all know he's a good player."
But it seems Everton have got their man. Respected Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio claimed an Everton deal was close on Wednesday morning, as translated by David Amoyal:
The negotiation is in the advanced stages, Everton will likely keep the striker they had on loan last season. Everton is willing to spend 30 million euro plus bonuses to purchase him on a permanent basis. Chelsea is considering the offer and developments are expected in the coming hours.
In the modern game, the demands of a centre forward polarise opinion. For some, it’s no longer enough to simply score goals; in the eyes of many, strikers need to offer more than those vital, game-changing contributions.
Perhaps that’s the reason why Romelu Lukaku doesn’t seem to be wanted at Chelsea.
The Belgian international forward has been massively prolific during his time on loan away from Stamford Bridge, but it seems as though he’s on the cusp of a move away from the London club.
That’s after reports emerged that the 21-year-old was set to rejoin Everton—where he scored 15 league goals on loan last season, per WhoScored—on a permanent deal.
Indeed, Everton boss Roberto Martinez told Everton supporters in Thailand “of course we’ll get him” when they quizzed him about Lukaku:
But the Toffees’ manager has since been quick to play down those comments, per Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star:
There have been a lot of reports, some even saying I've told people it [a deal for Lukaku] is done, but the situation is very clear. We need a number nine going into the start of the season and we will make sure we sign one.
Rom created incredible memories we'll never forget and enjoyed his time at Everton - but that doesn't mean anything between now and the end of the window.
While the Catalan boss was coy about the prospect of acquiring Lukaku, Everton are in pole position to snap up the Chelsea man, according to Dave Kidd of the Daily Mirror.
But recent reports also suggest Everton might have some competition from some illustrious outfits if they’re to get their man.
That’s because, according to Spanish media (h/t Samuel Stevens of The Independent), Real Madrid are monitoring the situation regarding Lukaku after Carlo Ancelotti was impressed by his performances on loan at Goodison Park.
Lukaku’s future looks bleak at Stamford Bridge after Mourinho not only signed Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid but brought back 36-year-old forward Didier Drogba for his second spell at the club on a one-year deal.
It means that should the former Anderlecht man hang around at Stamford Bridge, he’d be battling with the aforementioned duo and Fernando Torres for a solitary striking berth.
At this juncture, Everton are looking increasingly likely to get their man, and if Martinez was to strike a deal for the forward, it would be a phenomenal coup for the club.
Despite Mourinho clearly not fancying Lukaku as a player, his record for one so young speaks for itself, as noted here by WhoScored:
Romelu Lukaku: Has scored at least 13 more goals than any other current U21 player in Europe’s top 5 leagues in the last 2 seasons #CFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 28, 2014
For the player, Goodison Park would be an excellent place for him to continue his development. While Lukaku wasn’t as prolific at Everton when compared to his previous loan spell at West Brom, his all-round game came on superbly under the tutelage of Martinez.
He’s a lot more intelligent in his movement off the ball and considerably more mature when it comes to his work rate.
Lukaku has made no secret of the fact he has ambitions at the highest level and spoke of his desire to win titles in the aftermath of the World Cup, per Sky Sports.
Although Everton are a bracket below the elite clubs in Europe, a team which is built around him would only serve to accentuate his abilities and allow him to attract the interest of the very best clubs on the continent.
Of course, if Real Madrid’s interest does become tangible in the form of an official approach, then Lukaku would almost certainly be keen to set off for the Spanish capital.
But at this point in his career, getting minutes on the pitch and scoring goals on a regular basis is the most important thing for him, and it's certainly debatable as to whether he'd be afforded that luxury by the European champions.
At the moment, with a progressive manager and a burgeoning crop of young players, there would be few better places for him to grow as a complete centre-forward than at Everton.