Romelu Lukaku cast doubts regarding his future at Everton by publicly stating he wants Champions League football. Despite scoring 18 league goals this season, Lukaku’s side have struggled to gain momentum and lie in 12th place in the Premier League; 12 points off fourth placed Manchester City. Everton’s most expensive signing has not ruled out a move in the summer after the best season of his career so far. Even his father has stated that at least six European teams are interested in his son.
We assess the Belgian’s options should he secure a move away from Goodison Park…
The Red Devils have identified Lukaku as the man to turn their fortunes around next season. With Louis van Gaal set to leave in the summer, Everton’s £28m signing would be the perfect addition for an incoming manager. However, United would have to qualify for the Champions League by securing a top-four finish if they are to have any hopes of landing the former Anderlecht forward.
His father believes that United would be the right club for his son to take the next step. He described United as a team ‘under construction with no real focus’. Should United manage to finish in the top four, they will be a front-runner for his signature.
United have struggled to find a system to suit their forwards meaning they have struggled to score goals. Anthony Martial has been forced out wide this season and LVG has been forced to use youngsters such as Marcus Rashford; who has made a huge impact after getting his chance in the first-team. However, if Jose Mourinho is instated as manager, problems could arise. It was Mourinho who allowed Lukaku to leave Chelsea for Merseyside but it could give Lukaku even more incentive to prove the Portuguese wrong.
Surprisingly, Chelsea have joined the race for the striker despite allowing him to leave just two-years-ago. Lukaku was deemed surplus to requirements after being loaned out to both West Brom and Everton; where he impressed enough to earn his big money transfer.
Italian manager Antonio Conte is widely expected to take over from interim manager Gus Hiddink at the end of the season and believes Lukaku would be the perfect man for his side. Conte has reportedly informed that technical director Michael Emenalo that he wants to bring Lukaku back to the club in the summer.
There are many complications to a deal bringing the forward back to Stamford Bridge. Firstly, it is highly unlikely that Lukaku would want to return the club that did not think he was good enough to represent the Blues. Also, Chelsea have endured a dismal campaign and look certain to miss out on European football meaning other teams will have a competitive advantage. Everton will also look for a huge transfer fee if they are to allow their star man to return to his former employers.
The other club Roger Lukaku labelled as ‘perfect’ for his son was Bayern Munich. Pep Guardiola’s side have been unstoppable in the Bundesliga over the last few seasons and would guarantee Champions League football and trophies in Germany.
Rumours persist over the future of current striker Robert Lewandowski who has refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid in the future due to his ambitions to play in Spain. If the Pole decides to leave, Bayern believe that Lukaku is the perfect replacement. With 25 goals in all competitions, Lukaku would replace the goals that Lewandowski has provided.
With Carlo Ancelotti arriving at the end of the season, signing Lukaku would be the perfect present for the Italian. Everton will struggle to keep the Belgian at the club should the German giants come calling. Technical director Michael Reschke was sent to scout the forward earlier in the season meaning a move could be in the offing.
Depending on whether Madrid makes a move for Lewandowski, Lukaku could be targeted to become Florentino Perez’s next ‘Galactico’. The Real Madrid president believes that his side needs a big money signing to reinvigorate his squad after losing serious ground to Barcelona in La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane has included Tottenham’s Harry Kane and the Everton striker as the perfect strikers to bolster their frontline next season alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. Los Blancos reportedly tried to sign the 22-year-old back in 2012 but would face stiff competition meaning alternatives could be considered.
Reports suggest that Madrid are lining up a £60m move the Belgium international to bring the powerful striker to the Bernabeu. The Spanish side are also keeping tabs on Alvaro Morata and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if a move for the Everton forward fails to materialise.
Italian giants Juventus have long been admirers of the striker, who turned down a move to Italy in order to join Everton who he described at the time as the ‘perfect’ club for him. However, times have changed and Lukaku is ready to make the next step in his career.
Juventus have dominated Serie A in recent seasons but were narrowly edged out in their Champions League tie against Bayern Munich. Massimiliano Allegri’s side would no doubt match Lukaku’s ambitions of playing at the highest level of football. The Italians are expected to complete the permanent signing of Juan Cuadrado but doubts remain over Morata’s future at the club.
Despite the exceptional form of Paulo Dybala, Juve fans have grown frustrated with Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic. Lukaku has been linked up as the perfect man to lead the line next season. The striker admitted that he thought about moving to Juventus before making the switch to Everton and the time could now be right to don the black and white shirt.
Other potential destinations
After Lukaku’s remarks about playing in Europe, both Borussia Dortmund – who face the prospect of losing Aubameyang in the summer and Paris St Germain have shown an interest with Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to leave the club. Atletico Madrid are also keeping tabs on the forward as well as looking to bring former striker, Diego Costa, back to the club.
Where do you think Romelu Lukaku will be playing his football next season?