Romelu Lukaku has admitted he has made up his mind over where he will play next season as Bayern Munich are understood to have joined Manchester United and Chelsea in the race for his signature.
The Belgian rejected a new contract offer from Everton in March and managed 25 Premier League goals this season.
Chelsea are understood to want him to replace Diego Costa should the Spaniard leave, but his exit is now in doubt after Atletico, the only club he claims he would leave Chelsea for, are unable to sign players until January after their transfer ban was upheld.
United are also tentatively interested in Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski but are unsure whether they will be able to persuade the Bundesliga champions to sell.
Bayern only play with one central striker and it is unlikely either Lewandowski or Lukaku will be happy to play second fiddle behind the other one next season. As a result United could back out of the race for the Belgian in the hope they can secure long-term target Lewandowski.
Jack Austin, Independent
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Romelu Lukaku confirms talks with a Champions League club
On the very nice goal that Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi scored last night for Belgium against the Czech Republic, former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku provided the equally nice assist. Or should we say future Chelsea striker? Mayyyyybe? Maybe not?
According to an interview Lukaku gave after the 2-1 win, he and his agent are in discussion with an unnamed “club that plays Champions League” football. Chelsea and Manchester United have been strongly linked, and they both fit the bill, as do recent rumor mill entrants Bayern Munich.
“I know what's going on, but I will work my agent [Mino Raiola]. I’m the player, I have to make the decision. We are now in talks with the club. I just look forward.” The report in Gazet van Antwerpen claims that Lukaku “wants most of all” a return to Chelsea, but that Raiola would prefer to do business with United instead, just as he did with Zlatan, Pogba, and Mkhitaryan. Either way, Lukaku wants Champions League football and a Premier League title or two.
“I want to play in the Champions League and try to win the Premier League a few times. That would be important for my development as a player. I do not stay at the level where I am now. I just want to improve myself and I know [where] I want to do that.”
It was then put to Big Rom that he might fetch a big price, with Everton slapping a £100m price tag on him. “We’ll see if it happens”, he smiled.
Chelsea looked to be in the driver’s set for Lukaku not that long ago, but with a perfect storm of events (Costa probably staying, Griezmann probably staying, Zlatan injured, Atléti banned from transfers, etc.), Manchester United may be ahead at this point.
Griezmann won’t move to Manchester United due to Atlético’s transfer ban. There’s a lot of talk that you’re their priority now. On the other hand, Diego Costa won’t go to Atlético either, which would complicate things at Chelsea. What’s your view on that? “I know what’s happening. But I can’t tell you anything more.”
You know what’s happening... So something’s happening. “I know what’s happening. (laughs) I know what’s happening, but I will leave the talks to my agent.”
He likes to do business with Manchester United “I’m the player, I will take the decisions.”
You’ve shown that before by not following his advice. “The most important thing is: I want to win trophies. We are now talking to THE club. As for the rest... I’m looking ahead. What I would like most is to play in the Champions League and try to win the Premier League once. Or better: a few times. That would be the most beautiful thing. That’s important for my progress as a player. I don’t want to stay at the same level. I want to improve and I know what I want to do that.”
Do you become the £100m man? “We’ll see what happens.”
Today you have shown Chelsea that Michy Batshuayi and you can play together (walks off)