Manchester United has barged Chelsea out the way to become the favourite to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.
José Mourinho’s side has agreed a £75 million ($US97 million) fee for the Everton forward, according to multiple reports on Thursday morning.
But just minutes after the initial stories, others reported that the agreement is not quite wrapped up.
Respected Sky Sports transfer journalist Jim White tweeted that there has been “no deal reached” between the two clubs. This was backed up by TalkSport, which cited Everton sources when it tweeted: “NO DEAL!”
With 25 goals in 31 Premier League starts last season, Lukaku is one of the most coveted players in the division.
Chelsea had been in pole position to sign the 24-year-old, but United swooped on Thursday in a move that took some football writers by surprise.
Once United agrees a fee with Everton, Lukaku is free to talk to the Old Trafford club through his agent Mino Raiola.
He is not the only striker United manager Mourinho is interested in.
According to MARCA on Thursday, United is still in talks with Real Madrid over the transfer of Spanish goalscorer Álvaro Morata. But the BBC and Sky Sports have now reported that Mourinho has ended his interest in the player after making progress on Lukaku.
Mourinho had personally called Morata in June but United and Real failed to reach an agreement over the player’s valuation. United had previously offered €70 million but Real wanted €80 million. MARCA reports that United had raised its offer to €75 million.
Big hit for Conte. Chelsea could/should have wrapped Lukaku up ages ago. Well played United.
— Darren Lewis (@MirrorDarren) July 6, 2017