Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has identified Romelu Lukaku, the Everton striker, as his top target buy in the summer, according to The Guardian. The manager wants to make sure the 23-year-old plays at Old Trafford next season, and he has, therefore, asked the club board to swoop for the player.
Lukaku has already indicated that he wouldn’t prefer continuing to play for Everton, as he believes he needs a higher platform to showcase his talents. With the player’s contract with the Toffees expiring in 2019, and his unwillingness to continue at Goodison Park, he has attracted a lot of eyes, including his previous club, Chelsea.
After being loaned out from Chelsea for a couple of seasons, including one spell at the Goodison Park itself, the Belgian was sold by the Blues to Everton for £28m. Since then, the player has molded himself into one of the best strikers in the Premier League, with a penchant for goals – leading the goal scorer’s list this season with 24 goals.
The ongoing battle for the player expects to see Everton ask for over £60m, with two high-profile bidders with no lack of money fishing for their next star. Manchester United may have the edge in this battle, though, as Romelu Lukaku’s agent is Mino Raiola – the same as Paul Pogba, Ibrahimovic, and Mkhitaryan.
With Ibrahimovic being ruled out with a long-term injury, he might have even played his last game for Manchester United. Despite impressive young talents like Rashford and Lingard, Mourinho would like to bring in a proven striker to improve the dismal goal conversion rate United have had this season.
Romelu Lukaku fits quite well into the equation, with his physical presence and the typical No. 9 movement in the final third. He is among the likes of Didier Drogba in terms of playing style, and has often been compared to the former Ivory Coast international.
Manchester United also seem to be in hot pursuit of Atletico Madrid star man Antoine Griezmann. If both these deals come through, it may be yet another pocket heavy transfer window for the Red Devils.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran