Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has insisted he’d have no problem linking up with Jose Mourinho again in the future as speculation continues to gather pace about a summer transfer, with Manchester United said to be in the frame.
Mourinho sold the Belgium international to the Toffees from Chelsea in 2014 for £28 million, and he’s gone on to establish himself as one of the best young forwards in the game at Goodison Park.
Some people will say that I need to convince him but it's not a question of that. Three years ago I was 20 and I wasn't ready to be immediately effective in a top team.
Several good seasons, including the current one, have changed the situation. I'll be 23 (in May) and I could leave this summer.
Lukaku’s father, Roger, told Het Laatste Nieuws (h/t Morshead) that “there is interest from Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester United” in his son and that “I think he must choose Manchester United or Bayern Munich.”
The Everton man has revealed they are comments that made sense to him. “When I was small, they were two teams that impressed me with their attacking strength,” Lukaku revealed. “Then they're teams that he likes a lot. We'll see what happens.”
If Lukaku was to end up at Manchester United, he could be working under Mourinho, who has been strongly linked with taking over from current manager Louis van Gaal at the end of the season.
Since Lukaku departed the Blues, he’s improved many areas of his game. His hold-up play—once extremely erratic—has been refined, his movement off the ball is sharper and his appetite for physical battles, once dormant for a man of his size, has increased, too.
But what’s most impressive about the 22-year-old is his goalscoring prowess. As these statistics from WhoScored.com showcase, he’s a major threat in front of goal in general play:
Romelu Lukaku: Has scored more goals from open play (15) than any other player in the Premier League this season2016-3-22 10:26:32
He’s a player who clearly has ambitions to go to the very top of the game. Everton are enduring a season of massive underachievement despite the goalscoring exploits of their young forward, and Lukaku is a footballer who will want to test himself in the UEFA Champions League.
United could certainly do with a player of his calibre, too. Alongside another bright young talent in Anthony Martial, the Red Devils could have a devastating attacking setup on their hands if they were to bring him in from Everton.
Bleacher Report’s Nick Akerman posed a way in which the deal could possibly be pushed along:
Nick Akerman @Nakerman
Let Rooney score a couple of goals toward the end of the season. Bundle him up with cash for Lukaku. Send him to Goodison. For Rom’s Dad.2016-3-26 21:40:21
Everton proved they can be stubborn negotiators in the transfer window, as they batted away continued pursuits of John Stones from Chelsea last summer.
However, Lukaku is now a player ready for the big stage, and despite having some fine young players to call upon, Roberto Martinez’s side look a long way off matching his ambition.
As a proven goalscorer at just 22, Lukaku will cost a lot of money to prise out of Goodison Park, but United would be unwise not to be in the running for the Belgian, especially given his interest in the club has been confirmed.
However, there are plenty of clubs on the continent who could do with a wonderful goalscorer who still has a lot of improving to do.