Romelu Lukaku to have Man Utd medical in LA after £75m move
As Everton striker heads to Old Trafford and Rooney looks set to go the other way, what does it all mean for Chelsea boss Conte?
If The Sun has it right then Romelu Lukaku will undergo a Manchester United medical in Los Angeles in the coming days ahead of his £75m switch to Old Trafford.
Contrary to reports that erupted on Thursday, it's not yet a done deal with the Daily Star claiming that Everton "are holding up the deal", and it appears that the striker's departure could become acrimonious.
Toffees manager Ronald Koeman is reportedly hopping mad with his Belgian striker because Lukaku has "failed to return repeated calls". In addition, the 24-year-old was a no-show at Everton's pre-season training yesterday morning and the lack of respect has irritated the Toffees.
Nonetheless, it's not expected that Everton will derail the deal, particularly, says the Sun, because part of the transaction involves bringing Wayne Rooney back to Goodison Park. While Old Trafford rolls out the red carpet for Lukaku, former England captain Rooney "is set to travel in the opposite direction on a free transfer".
The Sun says that United "remain hopeful of confirming the transfer within the next 48 hours" and Lukaku is set to become the fourth-most expensive player in world football.
The five-year deal he is poised to sign will net Lukaku £250,000 a week, and according to the Sun that's a small price for United to pay when set alongside their delight at putting one over Chelsea.
The Blues have been left "stunned" and are "fuming" at the news of Lukaku's imminent departure to Old Trafford with the Sun claiming that Chelsea "believed as late as Thursday morning that Lukaku had set his heart on a return to Stamford Bridge".
He hadn't, and instead he will link up once more with Mourinho, the manager who sold him to Everton when he was in charge of Chelsea three years ago. While the Sun alleges that Lukaku "still holds a grudge against Mourinho" it's expected that the animosity will dissipate once he starts banking his weekly pay cheque.
Man Utd agree £75m Lukaku deal - bad news for Chelsea
Manchester United have agreed a £75m deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, stealing the player from under the noses of Chelsea to set up the biggest deal of the transfer window so far.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the deal could even be finalised before United fly to Los Angeles on Sunday for the start of their pre-season tour of the US.
The transfer could also pave the way for Wayne Rooney to rejoin his boyhood club, although any deal for the former England captain between the two clubs would remain separate.
However, things may not go completely smoothly as Sky Sports claims its sources at Everton say "no deal has yet been agreed" for Lukaku.
Despite caution on Merseyside, The Guardian reports that "United believe they will secure the second most expensive signing in their history behind Paul Pogba".
And the ramifications will be felt in London as well as Manchester and Liverpool.
The transfer will "infuriate" Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who had his heart set on the Belgian frontman, reports the Telegraph.
"Chelsea were thought to be the favourites to sign Lukaku but United have been happy for that theory to gather pace in recent weeks as they worked quietly behind the scenes to secure a deal for the 24-year-old," says the paper, which describes the deal as "another triumph for Mino Raiola, Lukaku's agent who also oversaw Paul Pogba's world record £89m move to Old Trafford last summer".
The Guardian agrees that the deal would be a blow for Chelsea. "Missing out on the Belgian would place further strain on Conte's relationship with the Chelsea board," says the paper. "The club have seen the likes of Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake, Tammy Abraham and John Terry depart either on permanent or long-term loan deals, and have only confirmed the arrival of Willy Caballero on a free transfer from Manchester City.
"Conte, who had infuriated the hierarchy by texting Costa to inform him he was no longer in his plans, has pinned much on Lukaku's addition, and it will be intriguing to see if the club'shierarchy now act swiftly to lodge their own bid with Everton for the striker's services."