It’s well known that Everton have wanted to bring in Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis, after the forward spent last season on loan with the club. Now, according to the Daily Mail, it seems Everton are quite close to landing their man.
Then again, it’s the Daily Mail, so take it with a grain of salt, Toffees fans.
The 21-year-old moved from Anderlecht to Chelsea in 2011, but has made just 10 appearances for his parent club. He spent the 2012-2013 season on loan with West Bromwich Albion, where he scored 17 goals. West Brom struggled to compensate for the loss of Lukaku, battling relegation last season, while the Belgian went on to score 15 while on loan at Everton.
It’s no wonder that Roberto Martínez wants to keep him on permanently. While the forward sometimes hits a cold streak — he scored just one goal in eight weeks last season, then was injured for a month — he’s still young, and is often lethal inside the area. His poor World Cup campaign aside, Everton know he can do the job for them.
Keeping their top scorer could help the Toffees really push for a Champions League place, having lost out to Arsenal by seven points last time. Giving Lukaku time in the Europa League may also help him be prepared for European competition when the time comes.
Lukaku was close to signing with Atlético Madrid and is wanted by Wolfsburg, but he prefers a return to Everton. As for Chelsea, they’re almost certain to be amenable to a switch, even if it means facing Lukaku twice a year. And while many questioned why José Mourinho allowed Lukaku on loan last season, despite seeing little return from forwards Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, Chelsea have now picked up Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas, making it even more unlikely that the Belgian will stick around.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
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Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).