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Report: Romelu Lukaku to leave Chelsea this summer – Tottenham and Everton in talks


Romelu Lukaku’s short lived tenure at Chelsea appears as if it will come to an end this summer, with the striker’s agent already having held talks with Tottenham.

Lukaku’s agent, Christophe Henrotay, told Belgium newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “I’m looking for a club for Romelu. And yes, I’ve talked to [Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy once, but that doesn’t mean Romelu will definitely join Spurs. That’s not a talking point at this moment.

“There aren’t 20 teams that can afford to buy Romelu. He won’t go from Everton to, let’s say, Swansea. There’s also a difference between Everton that plays against relegation and an Everton that fights for European football.”

Henrotay’s soundbite adds strength to conjecture around Stamford Bridge that the on-loan Everton striker has fallen out of favor with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Things between the two began to unravel in November 2013 when Lukaku noted that he hadn’t spoke to Mourinho since the season began and that he’d be open to continue his time at Everton.

Those comments didn’t sit well with Mourinho, who responded by saying that he wasn’t aware on-loan players could decide their own future. Lukaku thereafter sought to repair the relationship by explaining: “Am I getting ready for Chelsea next season? Yes, why else would I have signed a contract for five years?”

Despite Lukaku’s extension of the olive branch, Mourinho appears to have moved on after bemoaning his striker options following yesterday’s 3-1 loss to PSG in the Champions League. From all accounts, Mourinho is expected to shell-out top dollar for a world-class striker this summer, with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa the most likely candidate.

For Lukaku, he now looks prime to head to another Premier League club, with Tottenham joining Everton in pursuit of the Belgian international. Tottenham currently boasts strikers Emmanuel Adebayor, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado, the latter of whom has failed to impress following his $41 million (£25m) transfer from Valencia last summer. Everton’s striker ranks include the on-loan Lukaku, Arouna Kone, who has missed the entire 2013/14 season after knee surgery, winger-come-forward Kevin Mirallas and super-sub Steven Naismith.

The 20-year-old Lukaku has 12 goals and six assists for the Toffees in 26 Premier League appearances. The Guardian currently values the Belgian at around $33 million (£20m).

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.