The Race for Romelu: Who will sign Everton forward Lukaku?
Romelu Lukaku has reportedly turned down a new deal at Everton, putting a whole host of top clubs in Europe and China on high alert.
Let’s look at potential destinations for the big Belgian striker should he snub the desperate Toffees efforts to extend his stay at Goodison Park.
Chelsea predictably lead the betting as Lukaku’s former club at 5-2 with Bet Victor. The 23-year-old striker was last seen in Chelsea colours missing the decisive spot kick in Prague when Jose Mourinho’s side lost to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup. Lukaku failed to score in ten sporadic appearances for the Blues in three years, but crucially learnt his trade with devastating effect while on loan at West Brom and Everton. The Toffees made the deal permanent in 2014 and he continues to go from strength to strength.
With Diego Costa linked to a big-money move to China, the Chelsea links to Lukaku do make sense. Although, one thing is for sure, Chelsea will regret not having a buy-back clause in their original deal with Everton. If they are to follow up their interest, it’s going to take Roman Abramovich a lot more than the 28 million quid he stumped in 2014 to buy back the big Belgian.
Mourinho and Manchester United are second favourites at 5-1 with Bet Victor, although Mou clearly wasn’t an admirer at Stamford Bridge and more than happy to farm him out on loan.
There’s talk of the insertion of a buy-out clause (90 million quid ) being a stumbling block in Lukaku signing up for longer on Merseyside. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney cannot go on forever and will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. If United miss out on Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid, they are sure to look closer to home for a top quality striker. Cue the Lukaku speculation.
However, if the gifted Griezmann does make his way to Manchester United, skybet have Lukaku at 12-1 to replace the Frenchman at the Vicente Calderon, while PSG’s big-spending power has to be respected at 17-1 with 188sport.
Lukaku is 7-1 with betway to join any Chinese Premier League club. Aged only 23, he’s surely too young to be taking the money and running. Costa, 28, with injuries creeping up with him, is a different proposition I believe and looks to be playing his final season at Chelsea.
One team that could really do with Lukaku leading the line is Arsenal. With the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez uncertain, 188 sport go 20-1 on the Gunners landing Lukaku.
The elite of European football are all priced up in this market from Barcelona to Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, it would be a surprise if Lukaku doesn’t stay in England this summer, should he continue to refuse a new deal at Everton.