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Romelu Lukaku set for permanent move to Everton?

Jul 19, 2014, 7:47 AM EDT

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It’s well known that Everton have wanted to bring in Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis, after the forward spent last season on loan with the club. Now, according to the Daily Mail, it seems Everton are quite close to landing their man.

Then again, it’s the Daily Mail, so take it with a grain of salt, Toffees fans.

The 21-year-old moved from Anderlecht to Chelsea in 2011, but has made just 10 appearances for his parent club. He spent the 2012-2013 season on loan with West Bromwich Albion, where he scored 17 goals. West Brom struggled to compensate for the loss of Lukaku, battling relegation last season, while the Belgian went on to score 15 while on loan at Everton.

It’s no wonder that Roberto Martínez wants to keep him on permanently. While the forward sometimes hits a cold streak — he scored just one goal in eight weeks last season, then was injured for a month — he’s still young, and is often lethal inside the area. His poor World Cup campaign aside, Everton know he can do the job for them.

Keeping their top scorer could help the Toffees really push for a Champions League place, having lost out to Arsenal by seven points last time. Giving Lukaku time in the Europa League may also help him be prepared for European competition when the time comes.

Lukaku was close to signing with Atlético Madrid and is wanted by Wolfsburg, but he prefers a return to Everton. As for Chelsea, they’re almost certain to be amenable to a switch, even if it means facing Lukaku twice a year. And while many questioned why José Mourinho allowed Lukaku on loan last season, despite seeing little return from forwards Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, Chelsea have now picked up Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas, making it even more unlikely that the Belgian will stick around.

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