The moment of truth has arrived. Chelsea had been dragging their feet on Romelu Lukaku, but Manchester United’s (attempted) gazumping seems to have forced the Board’s hands. For Everton, this is a wonderful scenario and probably what they would’ve wanted. For Chelsea, it’s desperate times. For Lukaku, it’s a decision to be made.
It’s unclear exactly what “matching” United’s offer entails. They were supposedly offering £75m cash plus £15m in incentives plus Wayne Rooney valued at a generous £10m. Are Chelsea matching that entire package in cash, thus meeting Everton’s 100m asking price? Are just offering £75m? Something in-between. Perhaps we’ll find out sooner or later. (Or perhaps we won’t and this is just a face-saving PR exercise.)
Either way, the ball is now in Lukaku’s court. Last month, he made it clear that he’s willing to go against his agent Mino Raiola’s wishes and would prefer to join Chelsea instead of Manchester United. Is that still the case or did Raiola brainwash him into thinking differently? As Law points out, doing business with Chelsea would net Raiola a smaller cut than business with Manchester United.
UPDATE: Further reports
BREAKING: Chelsea have matched Man United’s £75m bid for Romelu Lukaku. More to follow pic.twitter.com/CloElpFGSu— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 7, 2017