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Macintosh: The Martinez master plan

Everton about an hour ago
Read
Aug 5, 2011

Lukaku ready for Chelsea

Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku says he is ready for Chelsea as reports suggest a deal is near completion.

Chelsea lodge Lukaku bid
Lukaku not interested in loan move
Lukaku hopeful of Blues move

As a fan of the Blues, Lukaku has long been linked with a move to Chelsea and widespread reports in Belgium say Anderlecht president Herman Van Holsbeeck travelled to London on Friday for negotiations.

The Belgium international, 18, insists the fact he supports Chelsea does not make a move to Stamford Bridge a certainty - "There are many players at clubs they don't support" - but Het Laatse Nieuws reports that he has already agreed a five-year deal and it is now down to the clubs to negotiate a fee.

"I am waiting very calmly for the phone call that will tell me everything has been agreed between the clubs," Lukaku told Le Soir. "Anderlecht and my agent are aware that this uncertainty is not good for me or the club. They will resolve things at some point."

Asked if he had spoken to any of the interested clubs himself: "I'm not answering that [smiles]. I know everything that is going on. That is why I often laugh about the things I read in the press. I am an Anderlecht player right now and that is what I am focusing on."

On whether he is ready for Chelsea, he said: "Absolutely. If I'm surrounded by players better than those I'm currently playing with at Anderlecht, I have the ability to adapt quickly and raise my game.

"I wouldn't play immediately if I join a top European club but I will be in an environment that will make me stronger. I will need a period of adjustment, perhaps a season, before I can compete.

"It has been suggested that I should play, most of all, and not lose time sitting on the bench, but if I went to a big club like Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern or Chelsea, I wouldn't want to burn out. Those games at that level are much more intense. If I go into a challenge with Vince [Vincent Kompany] in training with the Red Devils [the Belgian national team], I always feel: 'Ooomph, I will need some time to adapt there!'

"I don't want to go somewhere to be fifth choice, though. I couldn't. I would say yes to two experienced strikers and a youngster, because that would mean I could develop and get a couple of games."

In Het Laatse Nieuws, he added: "Sturridge, Kalou and Anelka would be playing out on the flank, so you have two central strikers - Drogba and Torres - but usually only one will play. But even at a club where there are three strikers competing for one place, you'll always play games because those clubs play 70 games in a year.

"Anything can happen at the big clubs. There may be players sold, so they would need me. I am waiting."

Lukaku is refusing to rule out the possibility that he will stay at Anderlecht.

"I think we'll have a great season," he said in De Morgen. "I am counting on the possibility of still being here. But if I stay it will be to destroy all opposition. I want to make it an exceptional season then."

He added: "A coach for the strikers would be useful, you can see that everywhere, but right now I am content with what I have. I told the manager last year that I needed it, because I wasn't making any progress, but I am having individual training sessions, helping my finishing in packed areas and such."

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