Romelu Lukaku has indicated that he is ready to leave Everton to further his career.
The Belgian striker scored 18 goals this season but the Toffees only finished 11th in the Premier League.
He is quoted as saying by the Daily Star: “I’m at a point where I have to make a good career choice. We have a new investor at Everton, and out of courtesy I will listen to what he has to say.
“But I have my own ideas in mind. I want to win titles.
“I have had a very good season, but it is time for me to write myself a CV. That is why I play football. I get that trophy-winning mindset from Chelsea.
“People in Belgium don’t see me playing for Everton, but I am respected in England by fans, managers and experts like Jamie Carragher, Graeme Souness and Thierry Henry.”
So, where next for the 23-year-old? Here, CaughtOffside ranks his five most likely destinations…
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According to The Mirror, a top-class striker is one of Arsenal’s next priorities after signing Granit Xhaka. Lukaku would be a step up on Olivier Giroud and could make the difference to their title fortunes. The question is; would Arsene Wenger splash what is likely to be a significant amount of cash to get him?
4. Real Madrid
Karim Benzema has not always been universally popular at the Bernabeu, despite 162 goals in six years, and Madrid’s bosses cannot resist buying expensive new toys. Real would probably not baulk at Everton’s £65m asking price – reported in Standard Sport – but might have their eyes on other targets first.
3. Manchester United
Lukaku appeared to be a perfect fit for Old Trafford until recently. The imminent appointment of Jose Mourinho, who sold the Belgian when he was at Chelsea, and links to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as The Guardian reports, have made the move less unlikely. But Lukaku still may be on United’s radar.
2. Paris Saint-Germain
There is a big hole to fill in Paris now that Ibrahimovic, who scored 156 goals in four years for PSG, including a staggering 50 this season, has left the club. The Mirror reported in April that Laurent Blanc scouted Lukaku in April and has encouraged PSG’s wealthy owners to go all out to sign the player.
A return to Chelsea seems the most probable option as it stands. Incoming manager Antonio Conte is likely to want to bring in another striker even if Diego Costa stays. The Blues should never have let Lukaku go to Everton permanently in 2014, and now face a potentially £37m loss to get him back.
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