Does Atleti's Mandzukic move put Lukaku one step closer to Everton?

Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea

The Chelsea striker was linked with a move to Spain but the Madrid side have now found their replacement for Diego Costa.

On the day Bayern Munich have officially unveiled Robert Lewandwoski as their new striker, the Bavarian side have also confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid over a fee for Mario Mandzukic.

As much as that is a purely European transfer, the ramifications could be felt in England.

London, to be more precise, where Romelu Lukaku's Chelsea future has been shrouded in mystery for a whole summer.

The 21-year-old endured a relatively disappointing World Cup campaign and for the time being, can be considered a Chelsea player for the coming season.

But a move away from the Blues has looked a concrete possibility ever since Lukaku returned from his loan spell at Everton last season and Atletico was a touted destination.

However, a move to Madrid looks off the cards, as the big-name signing of Mandzukic will provide just what Atletico need to replace Costa up front.

Where next, then, for the Belgium striker? He has reportedly stated his preference to leave Chelsea rather than spend another season on loan, while Jose Mourinho appears reluctant to give him a role within his squad.

According to reports, Tottenham could make a £20 million bid for the 21-year-old - but would the Blues really sell to their London rivals?

Another possible destination is Everton, with Lukaku recently suggesting that a return to Goodison Park would not be beyond the realms of imagination.

That move seems a lot likelier. Despite all the talk of the Belgian leaving Stamford Bridge on a permanent deal, a young forward with talent in abundance, and one who scored more goals than any Chelsea striker last year, will not be written off by the club with any ease.

Instead, one more loan move should not be ruled out. After another season of scoring goals for the Toffees, Lukaku's value will invariably rise and Mourinho and co. will be able to make a final decision next year on whether to keep the striker or cash-in on his transfer worth.

Roberto Martinez will like that outcome and so will the Blues, meaning Mandzukic's move to Atletico may have indirectly put Lukaku a step closer to an Everton return.

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