Arguably the most important pieces of transfer business for Everton to complete this summer will be holding onto their star names. However, if reports are to be believed, they may be in line to lose Romelu Lukaku with the window not even technically open yet. Chelsea are rumoured to be interested in their former Belgian forward, having let him leave Stamford Bridge for £28 million a couple of seasons ago. With Everton obviously keen to retain Lukaku’s services, it seems as though Antonio Conte and Chelsea would have to part with a fee in the region of £65 million to get their man.
Averaging a goal every other game in the Premier League in 2015/16, the Belgian bruiser also scored seven times in the domestic cup competitions and provided six assists in total. It is clear that Everton would be hit very hard indeed by the loss of their fantastic forward, not only due to his obvious statistical contribution but also because he is the focal point of the side.
It is not yet known who their new manager will be, so this move is unlikely to go through before Roberto Martinez’s replacement has been finalised. Nevertheless, it could well be that this hefty injection of cash would be of great assistance to the incumbent manager, allowing him to have extra capital to assist in an overhaul of the existing squad.
The Merseyside outfit have also been linked with a move for Joe Hart from Manchester City – the man heading into Euro 2016 as an almost dead cert to take up England’s number one jersey. Although this suggestion may seem fairly absurd given the current fortunes of both clubs concerned, this is not a story that can be dismissed as quickly as you would initially think, primarily down to a couple of factors.
Firstly, Everton have recently become the beneficiaries of a welcome burst of investment following a protracted take-over by Farhad Moshiri. This will only add to the vast sums of money that will be made available in the coming season due to Premier League television revenue, giving The Toffees the financial muscle which is essential in situations such as this. Should Romelu Lukaku indeed leave for Stamford Bridge in a multi-million deal as suggested above, their transfer kitty would only swell further.
Secondly, Pep Guardiola is soon to take up the reins at The Etihad and it is a well-known fact that he demands a select group of playing staff who all conform to his footballing ideology. While no slouch with the ball at his feet, Joe Hart is not exactly one of the world’s best in this regard, and for Pep to instigate his passing football from the back, having a ‘keeper with this ability is almost essential. City themselves have long been linked with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from Barcelona, and you can clearly see why this move makes perfect sense for The Citizens. It is unlikely that there is room for both Hart and Ter Stegen at The Etihad, leaving the door ajar for Everton.
The long-serving Tim Howard left Goodison Park this summer after a season of mistakes and nervy performances, finding himself usurped as the number one choice by Joel Robles. For Everton to rise back up the Premier League and begin competing at the level they aspire to, a goalkeeper of a higher standard than Robles is required. Admittedly, they do not have the lure of European football, but it is not impossible that Everton could spring a surprise next season should they make some astute additions over the next few months and have a degree of fortune during the campaign.
Let us know your thoughts on both rumours in the comments section below. How badly would Everton miss Romelu Lukaku, and can you see Joe Hart opting for Goodison Park as a destination were he to leave Manchester City?
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