According to multiple reports from the UK, Everton have sealed the permanent signing of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea.
Lukaku, 21, is set to sign on a five-year deal for a fee believed to be as high as $50 million. That would be a huge transfer fee for Everton, but until the deal is confirmed we won’t find out for sure as Chelsea are holding out for as much as they can get.
The deal is more likely to be around the $40 million mark, which would represent a club record transfer for Everton.
Chelsea signed Lukaku from Anderlecht in 2011 for a fee of $17 million, which was set to rise to $27 million with add ons. If Jose Mourinho manages to double his money on Lukaku, it would represent a superb deal for the West Londoners who already have Fernando Torres and Diego Costa up front. However Everton’s manager Roberto Martinez sees Lukaku as the perfect player to build the Toffees’ offense around and is willing to splash the cash to seal a permanent deal for the player who scored 15 Premier League goals last season during his loan spell from Chelsea.
Lukaku bullied the USA during the 2014 World Cup, as he came off the bench in extra time to grab a goal and an assist as Belgium won 2-1 in their Round of 16 match to reach the quarterfinals of the competition.
Ever since arriving at Chelsea in 2011, Lukaku hasn’t been a regular at Stamford Bridge and has spent the last two seasons out on loan at West Bromwich Albion and then Everton in the PL. It seems like Lukaku, finally, has found a permanent home at Goodison Park.
No official confirmation has arrived from the club, but Lukaku sent out the following message on Wednesday morning and since then his Belgian teammate and former Everton star Marouane Fellaini had congratulated Lukaku on his move to Goodison. See below.
The group stage of qualification is complete, as 20 teams have clinched a berth at EURO 2016, which kicks off next summer in France.
The top-two finishers in each group automatically qualified, as did the best third-place side out of all the groups (Turkey). France qualified automatically as the host nation.
[ MORE: EURO 2016 roundup ]
That leaves eight third-place teams to battle for the final four spots through a play-off. The draw for the matchups will take place on October 18, and those matches will be held from November 12-17 as a home-and-home play-off.
- Czech Republic
- Turkey (automatically qualified as best third-place side)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (qualified for play-off)
- Ukraine (qualified for play-off)
- Republic of Ireland (qualified for play-off)
- Slovenia (qualified for play-off)
- Northern Ireland
- Hungary (qualified for play-off)
- Sweden (qualified for play-off)
- Norway (qualified for play-off)
- Denmark (qualified for play-off)
The group stage of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship has come to a close, and one of the top teams in the world will not be playing in France next summer.
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
The Netherlands finished second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for EURO 2016. Playing in front of a home crowd in a must-win match against the Czech Republic, the Dutch got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 2-0 as manager Danny Blind was forced to make a substitution within the opening 40 minutes. The Czech Republic was sent to ten men before the break, but an own-goal from Robin Van Persie made it 3-0 as the Dutch couldn’t recover. A disastrous result for the Netherlands, as big changes will surely come from the top down.
[ RELATED: David de Gea fighting for starting goalkeeper position with Spain ]
Italy 2-1 Norway
Italy finishes atop Group H without a loss after defeating Norway 2-1 today. Norway took the lead through Norwich City’s Alexander Tettey, but late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle gave the Italians all three points.
Malta 0-1 Croatia
With Norway’s loss, Croatia jumped into second place in Group H and secured qualification to EURO 2016 with a 1-0 win away at Malta. Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic scored the game’s only goal, as Croatia advances despite having one point deducted due to inappropriate actions from their fans.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Turkey 1-0 Iceland
Latvia 0-1 Kazakhstan
Belgium 3-1 Israel
Wales 2-0 Andorra
Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 2-0 Azerbaijan