Manchester United appear to have had a dramatic late change of heart in their pursuit of a new striker this summer, with news emerging from numerous reliable sources – including BBC Sport – on Thursday that a £75m deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has been agreed.
#MUFC have agreed a £75m fee with Everton for Lukaku. Hopeful deal will be conclude so he can fly on tour on Sun. Morata interest ended
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) July 6, 2017
United had been expected to soon seal a deal for Real Madrid front-man Alvaro Morata, but after difficulty in negotiating with the European champions, a move for Lukaku, who is proven in the Premier League after 43 goals in the last two seasons, appears to be imminent instead.
It has been suggested that United have now informed Real that they will no longer be pursuing Morata at all, which is likely to come as a personal blow to the Spaniard.
Utd have told Real Madrid they are no longer pursuing a deal for Alvaro Morata. A £75m deal for Romelu Lukaku is set to be completed #mufc
— Stuart Mathieson (@StuMathiesonMEN) July 6, 2017
Lukaku had been widely tipped to re-join Chelsea. However, suggestions that Antonio Conte wanted other targets instead – ironically Morata – and the presence of close friend Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, with whom he also shares an agent, may have served to change his mind.
It is believed that United captain Wayne Rooney will form part of the deal, with the 31-year-old returning to Goodison Park where he began his career in such spectacular form. Lukaku’s vacated number 10 shirt is likely to be taken by Rooney at Everton and vice versa at United.
Lukaku is expected to be a United player by the end of the week and take his place in the squad for the summer’s pre-season tour of America, which begins with a week-long training camp in California after flying out on Sunday.
United continue to pursue other deals but a proposed £40m transfer for Nemanja Matic seems to remain dependent on Chelsea’s not yet confirmed purchase of Tiemoue Bakayoko.