It has been made quite clear that Romelu Lukaku is one of the topmost priorities for Jose Mourinho this coming summer. But with Everton asking upwards of £90 million for the Belgian international, Manchester United are looking at other possibilities to bring him to Old Trafford.
According to the Mail, Wayne Rooney might be proposed a return to his childhood club, as an exchange for Lukaku. The English national team captain is currently valued at £17 million by Manchester United, but with reduced playtime, there is a strong possibility of the player leaving Manchester this summer in search of more regular opportunities.
Rooney currently takes a hefty wage of £250,000-a-week, and would most likely demand a high payoff for the rest of the two years left on his contract with United. If he wishes to move to Goodison Park, he would have to endure a £100,000-per-week reduction in wages. Everton, on their own, are also willing to bid only £10m for the 31-year-old.
In his press conference before the Europa League semi-finals against Celta Vigo, the Manchester United skipper indicated that he values opportunities to play often, and hinted at a move out of the club.
It is understood that Rooney wouldn’t allow himself to be put as a makeshift player, even though a move back to Everton is attractive. But with other attractive options like Major League Soccer and Chinese Super League – wherein clubs might be able to meet his wage demands – the forward believes that he’d only choose a deal if it’s right, and not out of desperation.
Mourinho sees in Romelu Lukaku a very strong replacement for the injured and aging Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Manchester United have been missing an experienced target man at the front, with a flurry of missed chances. They have scored 51 league goals this season, much lesser than the top 4 teams, and even lower than Bournemouth. They seek a clinical target man, which they seem to have identified in Lukaku.
United are also considering another striker buy in Atletico Madrid talisman Antoine Griezmann, who has been in terrific form this season.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran