Belfast Telegraph

Lukaku move inches closer

Chelsea are expected to wrap up the signing of Romelu Lukaku within the next 72 hours after the Anderlecht striker arrived in London on Monday for a medical.

The Belgian has caught the eye of a number of Europe's top clubs after his free-scoring efforts for the Brussels club, but he has made it clear he is determined to move to Stamford Bridge.

That move came one step closer this morning when the 18-year-old took part in a medical at the Blues' training ground in Cobham after the two clubs agreed a fee, thought to be between £15million and £20million, on Saturday night.

The Belgian would only say he thought Andre Villas-Boas was a "very good manager" when bombarded with questions by the waiting media as he stepped off his Eurostar train at London St Pancras station on Monday morning.

Lukaku is expected to return to Belgium to report for international duty either on Monday night or Tuesday morning before coming back to London on Thursday to finalise the deal following his country's home friendly against Slovenia.

Lukaku's power, pace and eye for goal have seen him compared with current Blues striker Didier Drogba. His record at the Belgian club is impressive. He made his first-team debut at Anderlecht when he was 16 and has averaged almost a goal every two games in the Jupiler League.

His goals helped Anderlecht win the Belgian title in 2010 and he scored three times in the Champions League qualifying round last season, although the team went out before the group stage.

Lukaku, whose father Roger played for Zaire in the 1990s, has won 10 caps for Belgium, scoring two goals.

If the deal is completed as expected, Lukaku could figure in Villas-Boas' plans for Sunday's Barclays Premier League opener against Stoke.

He will face tough competition for a place in the Blues starting line-up though, with Drogba, Fernando Torres, Salomon Kalou, Daniel Sturridge and Nicolas Anelka already vying for a place up front.


From Belfast Telegraph