It was only yesterday that reports claimed a deal between Los Colchoneros and Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku was close to being done, but now the situation has drastically changed.
According to the Spanish publication El Confidencial, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has pulled the plug on a deal to sign the Belgian international on a season-long loan deal.
The opportunity to shine in La Liga and the Champions League at the Vicente Calderon would have been a good chance for Romelu Lukaku to prove to Mourinho that he has what it takes to succeed at Chelsea, but after positive negotiations in London with Atletico Madrid’s representatives, the deal is now off.
The report goes on to say that Diego Simeone had the last word on the alleged ‘tied’ deal yet decided against it as the Argentine coach wishes to bring in Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo instead.
Lukaku joined Chelsea in the summer of 2011, carrying a reputation as one of Europe’s most promising strikers and one who could be the natural replacement for former Stamford Bridge idol Didier Drogba.
The 21-year-old’s contribution during his first season in West London was small, as he made just a handful of appearances before joining West Bromwich Albion the following season.
His year-long loan spell at the Hawthorns was a success, though it wasn’t enough to convince Jose Mourinho to keep hold of him last season as he was loaned out again – this time to Everton.
After scoring 15 Premier League goals and adding a further six assists in 31 matches, a record which made Lukaku Europe’s most productive young striker, many thought that next season would finally be his breakthrough year at The Blues.
Mourinho, however, is still not keen and the decision to loan him out again has been set, though his destination is now anybody’s guess.