The Chelsea striker rumors have taken a brief diversion to Diego Costa-land these last few days, but let’s not forget that one of our primary targets, supposedly, in this summer’s market is the Premier League’s second leading goalscorer, Romelu Lukaku.
Perhaps it was this sudden lack of attention and noise around his client that prompted agent Mino Raiola to make an appearance on talkSport on Wednesady and remind everyone that Lukaku refused to sign the new Everton contract, something that Raiola himself claimed was a 99.9 per cent certainty at one point.
“You know we have the 0.1% now. At that moment we decided not to sign the contract but I have to say the relationship with the club is very good and we knew if someone would come and satisfy Everton then there is a possibility that he leaves.”
What would it take to satisfy Everton? Raiola didn’t reveal any specifics, but previous rumors have claimed anywhere from £70-100m for the former Chelsea prospect.
“Lukaku had a promise that if certain clubs came this summer that he could leave this summer.”
“We are not in concrete talks with anybody at this moment, but hearing the market I think some clubs will contact Everton. If the price is right for Everton and the project is right for Lukaku then I think he will want to make another step, but we are not there yet."
-Mino Raiola; source: talkSport
So that’s a fairly clear come-and-get-him plea to Chelsea, Manchester United, and whoever else may be interested in the 24-year-old. It won’t be cheap, but Everton won’t make too much of a fuss.
Whether Chelsea are willing to fork over that much cash, despite already raising that much through player sales in the last six months, remains to be seen. Diego Costa’s situation and potential contract extension is another factor, even if a few recent rumors claimed that Costa’s situation has no bearing on whether Chelsea pursue Lukaku (or Morata or any other top striker).