Lukaku targets Premier League move
The 17-year-old Anderlecht front-man, who is already a regular at international level for Belgium, became one of Europe’s hottest prospects when he netted 15 times to top the scoring charts in the Jupiler Pro League last year.
The Belgian champions are understandably loathe to part with their prized asset, and will likely demand a substantial fee before considering a sale.
Nevertheless, the level of interest in Lukaku has left the club’s management resigned to losing him when he turns 18 this summer.
Several of England’s top clubs, including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, are thought to be monitoring the situation, and the young striker’s performances have also attracted glowing praise from Jose Mourinho and the Real Madrid hierarchy.
However, in an interview with Goal.com UK, Lukaku stated that whilst Spain remains an attractive destination, his dream is to move to the Premier League and emulate the feats of his idol, Didier Drogba.
“My father never talks to me about rumours. Of course, I admire Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid is a great club. But I see England as more likely than Spain.
“If I see the games and some action in the Premier League, with my qualities I think I can play there. I’m very fast, I’m very strong and I work a lot. If I train with players with more quality I can be better than I am here. I want to improve.
“My father was my hero when I was still a boy. I looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo and then it was always [Didier] Drogba. As I understand more and more about football I see the qualities I have and I can see myself in him [Drogba]. I have almost the same qualities and I want to follow in his footsteps.”
Lukaku also revealed that he spurned the advances of Chelsea and Arsenal as a 14-year-old in order to sign a youth contract with Anderlecht, and that, although the Blues are his favourite team, he is keeping his options open with regards to a potential move.
“Chelsea and Arsenal tried to sign me when I was 13, 14," he said.
"Chelsea is my favourite team. I have always said it and I have never hidden it. But it is not because Chelsea is my favourite team that I have to go there. There is also Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. These big five are very interesting. Tottenham are also a good club.
“As a young kid you dream of playing in every big team. It is not because Chelsea is my favourite team that I have to specifically go there.
“I will see. It is something for my father and agent. There are so many clubs and big teams. For a young player sometimes you have to relax for a while and focus on your own team. I’m very happy with the situation at Anderlecht. I have the support of the club and other players. It is my environment and I’ve grown up here.”
By Liam Twomey