In a somewhat surprising turn of events over the past week, it would appear that Manchester United have put through a deal to sign 24-year- old Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku. For the majority of the transfer window, it was heavily hinted that Lukaku was destined to go from the blue of Everton to the blue of Chelsea, but around a week ago, rumors suddenly changed tack and claimed that United had been quietly working on a deal to bring the bulky forward to Old Trafford for some months.
There are two main reasons this deal may have come about, the first of which is in regard to an Everton old boy, Wayne Rooney. It’s been obvious for the past few seasons that Rooney’s time as a world class forward has come to an end, but it was difficult moving the club legend on for a variety of reasons. The first is that his wages are astronomical and he still had two years left on his contract, so financially it made little sense for any club to spend a fortune on him. The second variable to consider is which clubs Rooney himself would be interested in joining. He could join one of the retirement leagues, like the MLS or China’s Super League, but it was reported neither of those thrilled him. A return to his spiritual home, though, seemed a lot more likely to pan out.
So with Everton a possible destination for Rooney, and United interested in replacing the now released Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a similar player in Lukaku, a deal seemed to take shape. Rooney has subsequently rejoined Everton on what seems to be a free transfer, with United voiding the last two years of his contract, and Romelu Lukaku going the opposite direction for an exceptional fee of £75m.
The second reason that Lukaku is heading to United, though, is due to his agent, Mino Raiola, who allegedly convinced him to abandon his apparent preferred choice of moving to Chelsea. If the agent’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s also the representative for Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The ease with which this deal occurred is likely down to the established relationship Raiola has with United, having brokered the deals for all three of the aforementioned clients last year. The rumors also seem to suggest that Raiola was due a larger brokering fee if Lukaku joined United over Chelsea, suggesting that there’s a clear motive for him to have persuaded his client to choose Old Trafford over Stamford Bridge. Conjecture aside, Lukaku will now join United’s preseason team and replace Ibrahimovic as their starting center forward.
The Red Devils have acquired a young player but who has several seasons’ worth of Premier League experience under his belt, having ended the 2016/2017 season as the second top scorer on 25 goals. Although the fee is staggering and Lukaku has a few points of his game to work on, he is very well-suited to the league and should offer United an immediate return that they will desperately need as they attempt to compete on multiple fronts this coming season.
Considering his price, though, is Lukaku the right player to lead United to silverware? Let us know your thoughts below!