Man Utd are reportedly ready to battle Chelsea for the signing of Romelu Lukaku, and they may have an ace up their sleeve to get a deal done.
Lukaku is coming off the back of an impressive season as he bagged 26 goals and seven assists in 39 appearances last year, with the 24-year-old seemingly set for a natural step up to a top club this summer.
According to The Express, that could be either United or Chelsea, as both are keen to snap up the star striker, who is valued at a staggering £100m.
However, it’s noted in the report that the Red Devils could try to steal a march on their rivals by offering Wayne Rooney as part of the deal in exchange, with the former Everton starlet linked with a return to Goodison Park as he edges closer to the latter stages of his career.
Jose Mourinho has been forced to significantly change his plans for next season, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s knee injury combined with Antoine Griezmann snubbing them leaving him in a difficult position.
Nevertheless, backed by the board with major transfer funds this summer, it’s not taken the Man Utd boss long to alter his plans and target another big-money signing, with Lukaku seemingly getting the vote ahead of the summer transfer window opening.
There are still various obstacles to overcome in such a deal though. Firstly, Man Utd must convince Lukaku to join them rather than Chelsea, while the player will undoubtedly have major demands on personal terms too.
Further, a transfer fee has to be agreed upon with the Toffees with the £100m price-tag touted above, while Rooney’s wage demands could be a stumbling block unless he’s willing to take a pay-cut as it’s highly unlikely Everton are capable of paying him what he currently earns at Old Trafford.
All in all, it seems like a pretty complicated deal, but with other targets falling off the radar, it may come down to a straight scrap between Man Utd and Chelsea for Lukaku this summer.