Rooney, Lukaku undergo medicals ahead of big-money club switch

Wayne Rooney and Romelu Lukaku last night underwent medicals to trade clubs next season between Everton and Manchester United.

Although ostensibly separate, negotiations have been eased by the mutual interest in deals that have seen Rooney permitted a return to his boyhood club on a free transfer and United paying £75 million for Lukaku.

The medicals were happening almost simultaneously yesterday, with Lukaku in Los Angeles before United’s pre-season tour to the United States despite Chelsea’s late attempts to salvage a deal and Rooney making what must have been a hugely emotional return to Everton and their Finch Farm training base.

Rooney is United’s record goal scorer and has achieved club-legend status in 13 largely successful years in which he has won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the Champions League and the FA Cup.

United took the step early yesterday of announcing that a fee had been agreed with Everton for Lukaku and were sufficiently confident to add that a “further announcement” would be made in due course. Paul Pogba, who United spent £89 million on signing from Juventus last summer, also said on social media that he would see Lukaku, with whom he has been holidaying, at training in the morning.

Chelsea had made an offer that would match both the transfer fee and wages but it is understood that United were willing to pay Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, significantly more. Lukaku had been the top transfer target of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte but is now preparing to be reunited with Jose Mourinho, who sold him to Everton from Chelsea for £28 million in 2014.

Lukaku has scored 104 goals over the past five years in English football, including 25 in the Premier League last season, and United have been chasing him for most of the summer.

Rooney has scored 72 goals in that same period for United, with last season’s Premier League tally of five representing the lowest of his 15 years in the top flight, including his 2002-03 breakthrough season at Everton when he was just 16. Rooney has wanted more regular football while Lukaku refused the offer of a new contract at Everton and wanted to play in the Champions League.

There were also reports yesterday that Lukaku had been given what was described as “a citation” while on holiday in Beverly Hills over persistent noise during a party last weekend. He was not, said the report, taken to the police station or formally booked and a spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Police Department said there would be more information in the coming days. Neither Manchester United nor Everton have made any comment on the report.

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