Sunday Tribune

Mourinho to offer Rooney to lure Lukaku


JOSE Mourinho has made Everton striker Romelu Lukaku his top summer target and is ready to offer Wayne Rooney as part of a deal.

Everton are demanding £100 million (R1.722 billion) for Lukaku as Manchester United and Chelsea covet the Premier League’s top scorer.

But United want to pay much less and may propose an agreement that would enable Rooney’s return to Goodison Park. United value their all-time record goalscorer at £17m, but Rooney, 31, is likely to demand a sizeable pay-off to cover the last two years of his £250 000-a-week contract.

Everton are reluctant to offer more than £10m for Rooney, who will have to take a £100 000-a-week pay cut if he returns to his boyhood club.

Rooney accepts he will leave United this summer despite claiming earlier this week that he wants to continue at Old Trafford.

While a return to Everton appeals, there may be more lucrative options on offer in China and America’s Major League Soccer.

Mourinho wants to sign two new strikers this summer and has put Lukaku, who has refused to sign a new Everton deal – at the top of his wish list ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. He sees the Belgian as a longterm replacemen­t for Zlatan Ibrahimovi­c – regardless of whether the Swedish star plays for United again after major knee surgery.

Mourinho let Lukaku leave Chelsea for Everton for £28m in 2014, but is ready to battle his old club for the 23-year-old.

United have scored 51 goals in the league this season, one fewer than Bournemout­h, and trail well behind the top-four clubs. After seeing United struggle to overcome Celta Vigo, Mourinho moaned: “Our story this season was normally when we play very well we don’t score enough goals.” – Daily Mail

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