The Daily Mail ran a story yesterday, suggesting that a permanent deal between Chelsea and Everton for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku was close. Sky Sports put out a contradicting report on Saturday, suggesting that the player is expected to return to training with Chelsea when he gets done with his post World Cup holiday:
Reports in Saturday's newspapers suggested Lukaku is close to signing a permanent deal with Everton, where he scored 16 goals during a loan spell last season. But Sky sources say Belgium striker Lukaku will be back at Stamford Bridge after his post-World Cup holiday.
The optimist in me wants to believe that Sky Sports wouldn't run a story referencing the Mail article with such bold claims that they're wrong without having ironclad sources feeding them that information. The pessimist in me doesn't trust most of the European media though, and while the Mail isn't always a very reliable source of information, "Sky sources" doesn't typically inspire confidence either.
If true, this is good news for Chelsea fans everywhere. Not only is Lukaku pretty clearly our best option to back up Diego Costa at the moment, but he's also a prospect with world class potential based on his elite size and athleticism. Combined with the fact that the latest Everton rumors suggested a ridiculously low transfer fee for a striker of Lukaku's quality and potential, and it's not hard to be crossing our collective fingers that Sky has better sources than The Daily Mail.
It's also worth noting here that Sky isn't saying that Lukaku will definitely stay, but suggesting that he's not bound for Everton in the very near future. If their information is correct, it's still entirely possible that he heads to Merseyside on a permanent basis this summer, but if that happens, one would hope the figure is considerably larger.