Could this finally be close to completion? More after the jump:
It's been a long-running saga for the past two seasons, but at last we may finally have a major breakthrough in the transfer of one Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, after Anderlecht's Chairman and the player's agent were seen departing The Bridge last night. Reports suggest the day was spent negotiation a fee and personal terms for Romelu's signature.
Some quotes from Lukaku:
- "Absolutely. If I'm surrounded by players better than those I'm currently playing with at Anderlecht, I have the ability to adapt quickly and raise my game."
- "I wouldn't play immediately if I join a top European club but I will be in an environment that will make me stronger. I will need a period of adjustment, perhaps a season, before I can compete."
- "I am waiting very calmly for the phone call that will tell me everything has been agreed between the clubs."
- "It has been suggested that I should play, most of all, and not lose time sitting on the bench, but if I went to a big club like Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern or Chelsea, I wouldn't want to burn out. Those games at that level are much more intense. If I go into a challenge with Vince [Vincent Kompany] in training with the Red Devils [the Belgian national team], I always feel: 'Ooomph, I will need some time to adapt there!'
- "I don't want to go somewhere to be fifth choice, though. I couldn't. I would say yes to two experienced strikers and a youngster, because that would mean I could develop and get a couple of games."
- "Sturridge, Kalou and Anelka would be playing out on the flank, so you have two central strikers - Drogba and Torres - but usually only one will play. But even at a club where there are three strikers competing for one place, you'll always play games because those clubs play 70 games in a year.
- "Anything can happen at the big clubs. There may be players sold, so they would need me. I am waiting."
...so, yeah kid is clearly ready to make the transition. And let me just point out, his comments are spot on and suggest he has the right frame of mind heading into the move. He's not expecting to be a starter off the bat- he knows he'll need time to adjust and get his feet under him. This, I like.
According to Het Laaste Nieuws, Lukaku has agreed a 5-year contract with Chelsea to be finalised next week. Van Holsbeeck, Anderlecht's Chairman, is negotiating the final price, which he believes will be sorted by Monday. His quote: ""I think we will make progress this weekend and on Monday will be agreement," says enough to me.
Sound off, what do you think friends? We'll keep you posted throughout the weekend on any breaking developments. But, if this signifies our first major signing of the summer, then I think we can all be pleased with the result.