Romelu Lukaku is the man Manchester United want to lead their line next season, as the English Premier League giants consider making a big-money bid for the Everton striker in the summer transfer window.
Lukaku has been the most lethal striker in England this season, scoring 19 goals in all competitions, including 15 in the Premier League. With Manchester United struggling for goals all season, Lukaku is seen as an obvious choice to bolster their attack.
Manchester United, while realising Everton are highly unlikely to allow the Belgium international to leave in the January transfer window, are preparing a £40million bid in the summer in the hope the Toffees will accept the offer, according to the Daily Mirror.
Lukaku is definitely the kind of striker Manchester United need, with the 22-year-old capable of bullying defences, while posing good technical ability with more than an eye for a goal.
Everton, though, have already shown they are not the kind of club anymore which will willingly sell their marquee names, having rejected big bids from Chelsea for John Stones last summer. Lukaku, if anything, is an even bigger player for Everton, and they are likely to demand a much higher fee for the striker in a bid to ward off interest.
Manager Roberto Martinez, however, will also know Everton can only keep potentially world-class players for so long, owing to the lack of Champions League football. As good a team as Everton are, they are nowhere near ready to consistently challenge for the Champions League places or indeed the Premier League title.
While Manchester United are not exactly enjoying a purple patch at the moment, the club are likelier to challenge for the Premier League crown next season, while they will also be able to offer Lukaku much higher wages.
Some reports out of England suggested Martinez had a verbal agreement with his Everton stars, telling them he would let them leave in the summer if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League this season. The manager, though, denied those reports.
"That is not true, I would never do that," Martinez was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "I think that would be very negative. If you do that could you imagine the last two months for that player?
"He would never put a leg in or never challenge for the ball. I don't agree with doing that. I know you can do that to keep a player for another 12 months, but if you're not going to have a player 12 months down the line you need to start replacing him to have a stronger team."