Romelu Lukaku's wink and smile is the closest confirmation we have so far of him rejoining the Champions of England, but as Manchester United turn their focus elsewhere, it would appear that Chelsea are getting very close indeed to completing this blockbuster transfer.
Unlike Liverpool in their Van Dijk fiasco, Chelsea have avoided any suggestions of tapping up the striker, though we’re still yet to agree a final price. Everton may be resigned to losing their man, but are supposedly holding out for £100m, which Chelsea are hoping to bring that down to about £80m. In the meantime, personal terms are more or less done, as Lukaku himself has revealed that “an agreement” has been reached. Whether that’s specifically referring to personal terms or just a more high-level agreement is unclear. Either way, the London Evening Standard has a few details on Lukaku’s contract/offer from Chelsea.
The 24-year-old is set to earn “in excess of £150,000” per week (how much more is unknown), which would put him at least on par with Diego Costa. Costa’s rumored contract extension would bump his wages to £200,000 however. Lukaku supposedly rejected that same amount from Manchester United, while he also rejected a £140,000 offer from Everton. It’s not all about the money at this point.
It’s worth noting, as the Standard do as well, that Chelsea tried hard to sign one of Lukaku or Morata last summer, too, as Conte settled on a 4-2-4 formation in pre-season. That system may not make a comeback (Chelsea never looked too solid in it), but Costa and Lukaku playing together is not entirely out of the question. Costa himself has some experience in a secondary role, playing in support of Radamel Falcao in their Atletico Madrid days.
Either way, exciting times should lie ahead.