Manchester United have agreed a fee of around £75m with Everton for striker Romelu Lukaku, although sources from the Toffees claimed that no deal or agreement has been reached.
United, who have been chasing Lukaku for most of the summer, could also possibly give up on their interest in Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata.
Lukaku, 24, could have his medical for United in Los Angeles although the Belgian international was also due to fly back to England on Friday for pre-season training with Everton.
However, he had already made clear that he has ambitions to play elsewhere, turning down the most lucrative contract offer in Everton’s history in March and later saying: “I don’t want to stay at the same level. I want to improve and I know where I want to do that.”
However, with United boss Jose Mourinho intent on securing a striker and for Lukaku to be confirmed as United’s second summer signing as soon as possible, the manager has decided this is the best way to push the transfer through.
This meant that — barring any last-minute hitch — United will have landed Lukaku ahead of Chelsea despite the Blues believing they were in pole position to prise him from Everton.
Lukaku’s move follows that of Victor Lindelof, the central defender who moved from Benfica to United for £30m last month. But even with Lukaku, Mourinho is still intent on adding a central midfielder and, possibly, a wide forward.
This was no surprise since United’s biggest issue last season was scoring goals. With just 54 goals after the entire season, the Red Devils were comfortably the lowest of the top seven sides.
The top three all scored more than 80 goals, and United’s disability up front meant inability to see off even weaker teams, leading to damaging home draws against Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth, Hull City, West Ham, Burnley and Stoke City.