Romelu Lukaku transfer latest: Chelsea striker could sign for Everton 'within the next 48 hours' as Roberto Martinez closes in on his top transfer target

Striker looks set to be leaving Stamford Bridge and could return to Everton

Everton are hopeful that they can complete a permanent move for Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku within the next 48 hours, according to reports.

The Belgian international spent last season on loan with the Toffees, where he impressed as his 15 goals in 31 Premier League outings helped the Toffees to an impressive fifth place – narrowly missing out on beating Arsenal to fourth and the promised land of Champions League football.

Lukaku didn’t enjoy the best of World Cup campaigns with Belgium as he saw his first-team place go to Lille sensation Divock Origi – who could join him on Merseyside if he completes a move to Liverpool – but the consensus is that the 21-year-old has the potential to push on and become one of the best strikers in the world.

Despite Chelsea appearing desperately short on quality strikers last season as Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba coming up short for the Blues, the £32m signing of Diego Costa appears to signal who Jose Mourinho will choose to lead his attack this season.

 

After missing out on another striking target in Ba following the Senegalese striker’s move to Besiktas, Roberto Martinez is keen to land Lukaku in order to continue Everton’s rise in the Premier League after a successful first season with the club.

The addition of Lukaku on a permanent basis would be regarded as a major coup for the Toffees, given their prudent spending in recent years somewhat limiting them from competing with those sides above them in the Premier League.

Earlier in the summer, Atletico Madrid had been favourite to sign the Belgian, but the acquisition of Croatia star Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich made it clear that Lukaku was not the preferred choice of manager Diego Simeone, whereas Lukaku would be one of the first names on the team-sheet at Goodison Park.

Along with a move for Lukaku, Martinez is also hopeful one securing the services of Monaco striker Lacina Traore for a second season, having already held talks with the Ligue 1 club after he spent the second half of last season with Everton.

There is also reported interest in Bosnia midfielder Muhamed Besic of Ferencvaros.

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