Manchester United have confirmed they have agreed a deal with Everton for Romelu Lukaku, with the deal expected to go through later on Saturday.
The fee for the player is worth an initial £75million – which will be a record deal between British clubs – while add-ons and incentives could reportedly see it top £100million.
The 24-year-old scored 25 goals in the Premier League last season for the Toffees but appears set to move to Old Trafford, subject to passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 8, 2017
All summer former club Chelsea appeared to be the front-runners for Lukaku’s signature but it is understood United have been quietly pursuing him old for months and the powerful Belgian became the club’s main target, once Real Madrid continued to play hardball over Alvaro Morata.
United saw two bids – the second of which was £60million – rejected by Real, who were understood to be seeking nearer £80million.
United, however, will now hope to get the Lukaku deal finalised on Saturday, with the player likely to be on the plane when the club travels to the United States on their pre-season tour.
Reports on Friday night suggested Chelsea had matched United’s bid for the former Anderlecht forward, but the Premier League champions appear to have been pipped to the post.
News that a £75million transfer had been agreed for the in-demand striker broke on Thursday morning but senior Everton sources rebuffed the claims.
Now it appears a matter of when, not if, Lukaku will swap Goodison Park for pastures new in a deal that is reported to be worth around £100m in total.
It is also understood that talks are also gathering pace for Wayne Rooney’s return to Everton from Old Trafford.
Despite United sources initially denying Rooney’s departure was linked to the Lukaku transfer, reports on Friday suggested the club’s record goalscorer will be included in the package – consisting of a £75m fee up front, £15m in add-ons and a £10m valuation of their own striker.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic having already left Old Trafford this summer however, the signing of Lukaku will presumably ease the way for Rooney to leave.
The 31-year-old’s future has been the subject of considerable speculation in recent months, with reports linking him with moves to the United States and China.
But a return to Goodison Park has always seemed a strong possibility too, and it would appear that does appeal hugely to the former England captain.