Romelu Lukaku joins Everton permanently for £28m
Everton, 13/2 chances with Coral for a top four finish, have signed Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis from Chelsea, handing the 21-year-old a five-year deal at Goodison Park after joining for a reported club record of £28m.
Lukaku spent last season on loan with the Toffees and excelled. He netted 15 Premier League goals to fire Roberto Martinez’s men into the Europa League for the first time in five years.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho splashed £32m on Brazilian-born Spain striker Diego Costa and also brought free agent Didier Drogba back to Stamford Bridge, so Lukaku’s chances of first-team football in west London looked slim. Chelsea still also have Fernando Torres on their books.
His country’s main striker at the World Cup in Brazil, Lukaku becomes Everon’s third summer signing, following the permanent capture of Gareth Barry on a free from Manchester City and Bosnia defensive midfielder Muhamed Besic.
Chelsea have also sold Demba Ba to Besiktas for a reported £4.7m. The sale of Lukaku by the west London outfit is understood to stand them in good stead for complying with the Financial Fair Play rules. European governing body UEFA have cracked down on unsustainable spending, punishing the likes of Manchester City and French champions PSG.
Of his transfer, Lukaku said: “I’m 21, I need to be playing in a good team. I needed to be in a place that felt right. I decided very quickly I wanted to come back. This is the place I belong.”
Everton boss Roberto Martinez added: “This signing is not just important for this season. It is a significant day in the history of this football club.
“We know that Romelu is still a young man and the potential that he has is quite unique, and we are desperate to see him enjoying his football and to watch him grow as footballer in the years to come.”
Lukaku is a 22/1 chance with Coral to be Premier League top scorer in the upcoming season.