Romelu Lukaku's future at Everton is far from certain. The 23-year-old rejected a much-improved contract offer from the Toffees earlier this week and has once again outlined his ambition to play regular Champions League football and win silverware.
Everton are hopeful they can still persuade Lukaku to stay at the club beyond this summer and they still maintain a positive relationship with the Belgium international's representatives, including 'superagent' Mino Raiola. But the U-turn from Lukaku – the Goodison Park hierarchy were fully expecting him to commit his future to the Toffees – has come as a very bitter blow to both the Toffees and their fanbase.
Lukaku has two years left on his £75,000-a-week contract with Ronald Koeman's men, but his latest comments and actions are set to spur a mass scramble for his signature come the summer. The thundering Belgian has no shortage of suitors interested in his services and will have a plethora of options to ponder at the end of the season. Here, IBTimes UK takes a look at where Lukaku's future could lie.
There's no place like home. Lukaku has plied his trade at Everton for the past four seasons and during that time has developed into one of the best strikers in Europe.
Under the 'guidance' of former boss Roberto Martinez, who did very well to lure Lukaku away from the clutches of Chelsea for £28m (€32.3m) in the summer of 2014, Everton endured two majorly disappointing seasons, culminating in consecutive bottom half finishes and the sacking of the former Wigan Athletic boss.
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Martinez's successor, Ronald Koeman, has gone a long way to fixing the problems left by the previous regime, with the former Southampton manager's appointment a sign of the new-found ambition possessed by incoming Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
The British-Iranian is keen to give Koeman the resources to aid him in his attempts to return the Merseysiders to the top table of English football, and he will provide an ample transfer kitty in order to bolster their chances of gatecrashing the top four.
Under the legendary Dutchman Lukaku's all-round game has substantially progressed and he is currently the top scorer in the Premier League this season, with 19 goals. Can Moshiri convince him that Everton are going places?
Lukaku could well be tempted by a move back to his former club. He joined Chelsea, the team he supported as a child, in 2011 when he was just a teenager, but was never really given an opportunity to truly showcase his abilities at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea loaned him out to West Bromwich Albion and Everton before the Toffees signed him permanently in 2014. Lukaku has refused to close the door on a return to West London in the past, and Antonio Conte's men are predictably admirers of their former striking prodigy.
Chelsea even tried to sign Lukaku last summer but were put off by the £75m asking price set by Everton. The striker's recent comments will give the Premier League leaders encouragement over a summer move, but they will still have to pay top dollar if they wish to secure Lukaku's services. However, with the £60m sale of Oscar to China coupled with doubts over the future of Diego Costa, Chelsea may see fit to go big.
Lukaku could rock up at Old Trafford if another of Raiola's clients decides to seek pastures new.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has silenced his critics with his performances for Manchester United and it looks likely that he will extend his stay with Jose Mourinho's men, but if the indomitable Swede finds the prospect of a move to MLS irresistible – he was recently linked with a big-money switch to LA Galaxy – then the Red Devils could be forced into action.
That's not to say that a striker isn't on Manchester United's wishlist already. Antoine Griezmann has been heavily linked with an £85m move to Old Trafford, but a deal for the French superstar seems to come with numerous potential complications.
A swoop for Lukaku, though far from straightforward given Everton's stance, could prove less troubling and perhaps cheaper, even if money is seemingly no object at the Theatre of Dreams.
Juventus were interested in signing Lukaku before he joined Everton on a permanent deal three years ago, but they couldn't stump up the money required to free the Belgian from his Chelsea limbo.
It's a very different story now, though, with the Serie A champions not afraid to splash the cash in their quest for Champions League glory; they parted with £76m to sign Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli last summer.
A deal for Lukaku seems unlikely, due to fact that Massimiliano Allegri already has Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, a more than able deputy, at his disposal.
But should one of those three leave – Dybala has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona, while negotiations between him and Juve over a new deal have been dragging on for some time – then there may be room – and funds – for Lukaku in Turin.
A move to PSG would all but guarantee Lukaku everything he craves: Champions League football, silverware and the chance to be remembered and adored as a legend by the Parisian supporters.
Money is no issue for PSG, but they do have a couple of problems on the pitch. Unai Emery's men are currently second behind the vibrant Monaco in the Ligue 1 table and were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona in quite incredible circumstances last week.
Edinson Cavani has been in fine fettle in the French capital this season after being afforded the opportunity to operate in a central role, but PSG still miss the dominant, destructive presence previously provided by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Lukaku has developed into a talismanic figure at Everton; would he be able to replicate that at the Parc des Princes?
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