Manchester United were ?reported on Thursday morning by a number of respected journalists and BBC Sport to have ‘agreed’ a £75m deal with Everton for striker Romelu Lukaku. It was certainly telltale that these independent claims all emerged at the same time, suggesting some kind of semi-formal media briefing had taken place.
But virtually no sooner had that story come out, others were claiming that the deal isn’t quite as close to completion as has been made out. Although there is still more weight behind the ‘nearly done’ arguments, it leaves the whole thing very much up in the air for the moment.
Sky Sports News anchor and talkSPORT host Jim White, known to be close to Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, has claimed his sources have told him ‘no deal is reached’ and that reports of the £75m agreement were ‘incorrect’.
Sources tell me “no deal reached” between @everton and @ManUtd for Romelu Lukaku. Reports of £75m fee agreement “incorrect.”
— Jim White (@JimWhite) July 6, 2017
If true, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but there may be a slight hold up for a few days.
??Similarly, Darren Lewis from the Daily Mirror believes that Chelsea are not out of the race for Lukaku. The Belgian had been expected to return to his former club until the United talk emerged in such spectacular fashion this morning.
?Sky Sports have since claimed that while the £75m fee has been agreed, an actual ‘deal’ to take Lukaku to Old Trafford has not yet been agreed. They cite a ‘senior Everton source’, but also state that United ‘remain confident’ that the transfer is close to completion.
Writing for ?The Times, Merseyside journalist Paul Joyce appears to be saying something similar; that while a £75m fee is agreed, there is still more to discussed before the transfer is final. That £75m appears to be a basic fee, with add-ons still possible in further talks between the clubs.
Everton sources are not denying the existence of a potential deal or an agreement over the £75m fee, and are rather contesting the reported progress of the transfer as a whole instead.
It is all slightly confusing and navigating the maze of carefully chosen words is the key to understanding what is going on. But at this moment, it look as Romelu Lukaku will still become a Manchester United player at some point in the coming days.