Everton set to complete $50 million deal for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku

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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.

Nothing to separate Portland and 10-man LAFC

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There was entertainment value in Los Angeles FC’s potential playoff preview with the Portland Timbers on Sunday in the City of Angels, but all that arrived was a scoreless draw.

[ MORE: Atlanta 1-1 Seattle ]

Both Giovani Savarese’s Timbers and Bob Bradley‘s nickname-free expansion club remain in the West’s Top Four. PLAFC remains unbeaten at home during their maiden voyage through Major League Soccer.

Adama Diomande came close for the hosts, who finished with 10-men when Lee Nguyen went studs-up on Sebastian Blanco‘s thigh for a pretty easy red card (though it took some time for Silviu Petrescu to produce the red).

VIDEO: France stars projected onto Arc de Triomphe

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If France’s players had any doubt about the level of import their World Cup title had back home, it was erased when their photos were projected onto one of the most celebrated monuments in the world.

The photos of Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and company made their way onto the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, hours after France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup Final.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who died in the French Revolution and early 19th century wars, and sits above France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

How humbling must it be for those players to grace such a heavy monument (both in weight and substance).

Dalic: In one day, Croatia went from lucky to unlucky

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Ante Cacic’s Croatia was on pace to miss out on the World Cup.

Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia rallied the troops to second place in their qualifying group, a playoff defeat of Greece, and a run to the World Cup Final.

Pretty decent stuff.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

And surely the 51-year-old will reflect on that, probably even this evening, but he’s more focused on a letdown after Sunday’s 4-2 loss to highly-favored France.

Key to the match was a penalty awarded to France when a partially-obscured Mario Mandzukic handled a ball inside the 18, leading to Antoine Griezmann’s pivotal goal.

The PK was awarded via VAR, and France went up 2-1 en route to a three-goal lead. From the AFP:

“I never comment on referees but in a World Cup final you do not give such a penalty,” said Dalic.

“It in no way diminishes France’s win. We were a bit unlucky. Maybe in the first six games we were favored by luck and today we weren’t.

“I have to congratulate my players. Maybe today we played our best game at these championships. Against such a strong side as France you must not make mistakes. We are a bit sad but we must also be proud of what we’ve done.”

Croatia had two-thirds of the ball and doubled France’s shot attempts, and Dalic isn’t the least bit controversial in wondering whether the match is much different if that penalty goes unawarded by referee Nestor Pitana.

Atlanta comes back to draw 10-man Seattle (video)

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A scrappy if not downright venomous affair between the lowly Seattle Sounders and high-flying Atlanta United ended in a 1-1 draw in Georgia on Sunday.

The Sounders went ahead through a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick, awarded via VAR a la this morning’s World Cup Final, but Atlanta leveled the score with a highlight which show every bit of the game story.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

Just check Josef Martinez’s barking at Stefan Frei, who made an uncharacteristic error on the play, after his 19th goal of the season (Nice cross, Julian Gressel).

Martinez needs nine more goals to break the MLS single season record, and he has 13 games to score them.

Jordan McCrary was sent off for Seattle in the 63rd minute for a second yellow, but Seattle navigated the final half hour or so to scoop up an unlikely point.

Atlanta still sits first with its earned point but opens the door for New York City FC to reach the top of the table when it plays its match-in-hand, while Seattle is now 11 points back of the West’s final playoff spot.