Jose Mourinho has made Everton striker Romelu Lukaku his top summer target and is ready to offer Wayne Rooney as part of the deal.
Everton are demanding £100million for Lukaku, the Premier League’s top scorer, who is wanted by Chelsea as well as Manchester United. But United want to pay much less and may propose a deal that would enable Rooney’s return to Goodison Park.
United value their record goal-scorer at £17m, but Rooney, 31, is likely to demand a sizeable pay-off to cover the last two years of his £250,000-a-week contract.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has made Romelu Lukaku his top transfer target
Everton are reluctant to offer more than £10m for Rooney, who will have to take a £100,000-a-week pay cut if he returns to his boyhood club.Rooney accepts he will leave United this summer despite claiming earlier this week that he wants to continue at Old Trafford.
But the England striker is determined to go on his own terms and will not accept being a makeweight — unless the deal is right. While a return to Everton appeals, there may be more lucrative options on offer in China and America’s Major League Soccer.
Mourinho wants to sign two strikers this summer and has put Lukaku — who has refused to sign a new Everton deal — at the top of his wish list ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez is another target, according to reports last night in the player’s Colombian homeland.
Wayne Rooney could be heading back to Everton as part of the mega transfer deal
Lukaku has refused to sign a new Everton deal and could leave Goodison Park this summer
But Mourinho sees the 6ft 3in Lukaku as the long-term replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic — regardless of whether the Swedish star plays for United again after major knee surgery.
Mourinho let Lukaku leave Chelsea for Everton for £28m in 2014, but is ready to battle his old club for the 24-year-old.
It will mean doing more business with Mino Raiola, Lukaku’s agent who also represents Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that Raiola earned £41.39m cut from Pogba’s move to United.
Lukaku would give Mourinho the physical target-man he likes his teams to have after bemoaning the lack of ‘killers’ at United in recent weeks.
Lukaku would give Mourinho the physical target-man he likes his teams to have
United have scored 51 goals in the league this season, fewer than Bournemouth, and trail well behind the top-four clubs. After seeing United struggle to see off Celta Vigo on Thursday, Mourinho moaned: ‘Our story is normally when we play very well we don’t score enough goals.’
United face Ajax in the final in Stockholm on May 24 and Mourinho will make changes for United’s last three Premier League fixtures against Tottenham on Sunday, Southampton and Crystal Palace to keep his first-choice team fresh.