• Belgian striker flies in for medical before club record deal
• 21-year-old to sign five-year contract at Goodison Park
Romelu Lukaku is set to join Everton on a permanent basis with the Chelsea striker flying to Merseyside for a medical on Wednesday.
Although the club are yet to officially confirm the signing of the Belgium international, and maintain that talks remain “ongoing” with Chelsea, the medical is thought to be a formality following his World Cup exertions.
Lukaku is expected to sign a five-year contract at Goodison Park and, though reports from Belgium of a €38m transfer fee are inflated, the deal will represent a club record transfer for Everton, in the region of £22-25m.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Goodison and scored 15 goals in 29 Premier League appearances. He had hoped to convince José Mourinho that he merited a regular starting role at Stamford Bridge next season but, with the Chelsea manager signing Diego Costa and Didier Drogba this summer, that opportunity appears restricted.
Everton’s manager Roberto Martínez had made Lukaku his primary transfer target for this pre-season and is prepared to spend the vast majority of his budget on the striker. Wolfsburg, Juventus and even Real Madrid have been linked with the Belgium international in recent weeks but with Lukaku keen to rejoin Everton once his position at Chelsea became clear, and Goodison officials holding talks with their Chelsea counterparts for months, Martínez’s patience appears to have paid off.
Lukaku joined Chelsea in an £18m deal from Anderlecht in the summer of 2011, although the initial fee was £11m plus add-ons that are unlikely to have been activated given he made just four starts for the Stamford Bridge club and spent the last two seasons on loan, at West Bromwich Albion and Everton.
The arrival of Costa from Atlético Madrid and return of Drogba seem to have pushed him further down the pecking order and he has been granted his wish to leave on a permanent deal.