Romelu Lukaku has never been the type to shy away from discussing his future, which for certain these days, lies away from Everton. He has made no attempt in hiding his obvious ambition, which is to play for a club at a higher level and more so, since refusing to sign a new deal at his current club.
The striker confirmed talks with a “Champions League club” after last night’s match against the Czech Republic and was set to be quizzed more on his immediate future at a Belgium National Team press conference this evening. He was asked if staying at Everton was a remote possibility, to which he provided a simple answer: “That’s not really an option”.
The last one. Romelu Lukaku: "Staying at Everton? (very quiet) That's not really an option, I think." That was quite clear.. #efc #cfc #mufc pic.twitter.com/w1Z49aefO3— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 6, 2017
It’s now a question of which club Lukaku will join, the usual suspects being Chelsea and Manchester United with even Bayern Munich’s name being thrown into the fray as of late — though he also stated his ambition to cross the 100-goal mark in the Premier League, which effectively rules out a move abroad.
RL: "At the moment the PL is the best league for me. After 6 years I know the league through & through. I want to reach the 100-goal mark."— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 6, 2017
Lukaku kept mum as to which club he and his agent have been in talks with, although he did reveal that he has reached an agreement with one of the clubs, meaning that it’s now up to them to settle upon a transfer fee with Everton.
BREAKING: @Everton striker Romelu Lukaku says he has reached 'an agreement' with another club #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) June 6, 2017
RL: "Chelsea or Man United? No comment. I can't say anything. I know where I want to go, but I keep all the talking to my agent." #cfc #mufc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 6, 2017
Saving the best for last, however, Lukaku was asked directly about Chelsea. While he did not actually respond, the wink and the laugh could certainly be taken as a good sign.
Is a return to Chelsea an option? (Winks and laughs) "No comment. We will see." #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 6, 2017
Meanwhile, Tancredi Palmeri has burst back onto the scene and BOOM-ed us all by claiming that the club Lukaku has reached an agreement with is indeed Chelsea. This should not be taken as a sign of anything, just as a brief comic break.
Chelsea have reached an agreement on principles with Lukaku.— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 6, 2017
Still under negotiations the fee with Everton
In addition, according to a report by The Independent, United made an enquiry about Lukaku last week (with the Atletico transfer ban looming, perhaps?) and were informed that Chelsea were “very close”. Everton are rumoured to want a fee in the region of £100m, which Chelsea are hoping to bring down to around £80m. Another angle on the United move is that it might be more preferable for Everton, as it could involve Sergio Romero and Chris Smalling going in the opposite direction.
So, is it time to say “it’s happening!” yet?