Date published: Friday 7th July 2017 8:48
Romelu Lukaku – armed with his ridiculous statistics – is set to join Manchester United this summer. Some reports claim that a £75million fee with Everton has been agreed; others report that only ‘positive talks’ have been held. But United have certainly jumped ahead of Chelsea in the queue.
It’s time to take a look at the latest updates on the move, as of Friday morning:
* The Daily Telegraph, who report that agent Mino Raiola has played a ‘vital’ role in the turn of events, claim that the deal is expected to go through before Sunday.
* The Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and The Sun all report that Lukaku is undergoing a medical in Los Angeles, where he is currently on holiday with United midfielder Paul Pogba.
* The Daily Mirror believe that Lukaku has been offered a four-year deal on wages of £200,000 a week. The Mail report that it is a five-year deal on the same wages. The Sun claim it is a five-year deal on £250,000 a week.
* The Daily Telegraph are one of numerous outlets reporting that Lukaku was manager Jose Mourinho’s ‘first-choice’ signing. According to the Mirror, both Mourinho and Ed Woodward ‘have been working on a deal for Lukaku for several months’.
* According to the Daily Mail, Everton manager Ronald Koeman is ‘fuming’ with Lukaku, who was supposed to attend the club’s pre-season training at Finch Farm on Thursday.
It is reported that ‘Koeman’s anger escalated’ when ‘repeated calls to Lukaku were not returned’.
* The Manchester Evening News claim that United turned their attentions to Lukaku after ‘Real Madrid’s dithering’ over Alvaro Morata.
Mourinho was reportedly ‘concerned Madrid were dragging out negotiations’, similar to how the Spaniards conducted their business when trying to sign David de Gea in 2014.
* Enough about when the deal will be done, his wages and his length of contract. Time for the important stuff: What shirt number will he wear?
The Sun are kind enough to let us know. Through what is almost definitely guesswork, they reveal that Lukaku ‘is expected to wear the No 9 shirt vacated by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who left last month’.
* Finally, in what will surely be a bitter blow to every Manchester United fan, the Mail claim that ‘the wrangle with Chelsea over Lukaku will surely make it more difficult for United to sign £40m-rated Nemanja Matic from Stamford Bridge’.
Every silver lining has a cloud, folks.