Romelu Lukaku joins Everton for £28m
Everton have signed striker Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea on a five-year contract for a club-record fee of 28 million pounds.
Speculation was rife that the deal would be worth more than the club-record 15 million pounds the Toffees paid to buy midfielder Marouane Fellaini from Standard Liege in September 2008, and it smashed it. He will wear the No. 10 shirt for his new club.
Lukaku said: "I am really excited about rejoining Everton. I had a fantastic experience last season and a great relationship with the manager, the chairman, the staff, the players and the fans. I can't wait to get started again and I'm looking forward to a successful season."
Chairman Bill Kenwright commented: "Romelu was a massive part of the jigsaw for Roberto and Everton and nobody is more pleased than me that an 11-month quest ended at lunchtime today, thanks hugely to the efforts of all parties, including Rom, his representative, Chelsea and, of course, Roberto."
Martinez added: "Welcoming Romelu Lukaku back to Everton on a permanent basis is the news that all Evertonians wanted to hear.
"We know that Romelu is still a young man and the potential that he has is quite unique, and we are desperate to see him enjoying his football and to watch him grow as footballer in the years to come.
"The arrival of Rom is more than just a signing, it's the fruition of a lot of hard work to get the player we wanted. This is a big moment for Everton's history and the perfect way of getting the squad ready for the start of the season."
Free to play: ESPN FC Premier League fantasy
- Sign up for our new game and challenge your friends
- Fantasy Blog: Tips for picking your squad | New names
- David Silva and Romelu Lukaku in hot fantasy form
- How to play the game -- fantasy rules in full
- FAQ: All your game questions answered
- Transfers: Check out the latest Premier League moves
- Fantasy HQ: Email us with your issues
Earlier on Wednesday, Lukaku sparked feverish speculation about his future with a post on Twitter that suggested a move away from Chelsea was imminent.
He posted a photograph of himself sitting on a plane with the message: "Time to write a new chapter..."
Time to write a new chapter..... pic.twitter.com/1XNjbYXsl4- R.Lukaku Bolingoli (@RomeluLukaku9) July 30, 2014
Lukaku -- who helped Belgium reach the quarterfinals at the recent World Cup in Brazil -- spent last season on loan at Goodison Park, scoring 15 goals in 31 Premier League appearances as Everton finished fifth.
Manager Roberto Martinez has made no secret of the fact that he wanted to bring the 21-year-old back to the club permanently. And he gave fans hope that a deal could be done during Everton's brief trip to Thailand last weekend to play a friendly against Leicester City.
Summer transfer window roundup
- Premier League: Team-by-team ins and outs
- Transfer Centre: All the done deals
- Marcotti: Mind-boggling transfers
- Delaney: What did we learn on deadline day?
- Horncastle: European transfer grades
- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets
In a Youtube video captured for a fans' website, Martinez was asked by a supporter if he would be signing Lukaku and responded: "Course we'll get him."
The manager subsequently played down those comments, but the club have continued talks with Chelsea in a bid to sort out a deal for the forward.
Lukaku joined Chelsea from Belgian club Anderlecht for 18 million pounds in August 2011, spending the 2012-13 season on loan at West Brom, where he scored 17 goals in 35 Premier League appearances.