Everton finally prize Lukaku from Chelsea for £25m
EVERTON have announced the signing of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku in a club-record £25million deal.
The club have finalised a deal to sign the Belgium international on a five-year contract.
Reports began emerging in the 21-year-old's homeland of a deal being done and the striker tweeted a picture of himself on a plane with the message "Time to write a new chapter.....", although whether the inclusion of a partially-obscured exit sign behind the player's head was intentional or accidental is open to debate. Although the Toffees were keen to play down suggestions they did admit the situation could progress quickly and notification of an evening press conference suggests that progress has been rapid.
Lukaku spent last season on loan at Goodison Park and was their leading scorer with 16 goals in 33 appearances, helping the club finish fifth.
Manager Roberto Martinez made the striker one of his primary summer targets but the player's involvement in the World Cup and extensive negotiations with Chelsea have taken time.
The Toffees boss had made signing a centre-forward permanently a priority and Lukaku was always his number one choice.
"We clearly need to strengthen in the number nine position, the striker, and probably another attacking player," he said.
"There is not an anxiety at finding out who the strikers will be.
"It is a matter of seeing how quickly Arouna Kone (who missed much of last season with a knee injury) is adapting and when he will be available.
"I am not too concerned about the timing (of signings), all I want to do is make sure we get the right footballers.
"We need up to three attacking players and that is bearing in mind the different ways we are going to play and attack.
"We know exactly our priorities and the names we will work hard to get them but they need to be a perfect fit.
"Every player that comes in needs to add to what we already have.
"We are not going to bring in players for the sake of it, it will be the ones we need. The dressing room is something special and my only worry is bringing in a player who could disrupt that."