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Everton seal club-record £28m Lukaku signing

ESPN staff
July 30, 2014 « Rodgers dig over Spurs transfer strategy | Day 6: Maria Ho eliminated, 68 left »
Barkley extends Everton contract

Everton have completed the signing of striker Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea for a club-record £28 million fee.

Lukaku, who spent last season on loan at Goodison Park and scored 15 Premier League goals, will wear the No.10 shirt for his new club after being unveiled on Wednesday evening.

"I am really excited about rejoining Everton," said Lukaku. "I had a fantastic experience last season and a great relationship with the manager, the chairman, the staff, the players and the fans. I can't wait to get started again and I'm looking forward to a successful season."

Everton's previous club-record signing was £15m midfielder Marouane Fellaini, whom they signed from Standard Liege in September 2008 before selling to Manchester United for £27.5m last summer.

Manager Roberto Martinez added: "Welcoming Romelu Lukaku back to Everton on a permanent basis is the news that all Evertonians wanted to hear.

"We know that Romelu is still a young man and the potential that he has is quite unique, and we are desperate to see him enjoying his football and to watch him grow as footballer in the years to come.

"The arrival of Rom is more than just a signing, it's the fruition of a lot of hard work to get the player we wanted. This is a big moment for Everton's history and the perfect way of getting the squad ready for the start of the season."

Earlier on Wednesday, Lukaku posted a picture of himself on Twitter seated on a private jet, along with the caption: "Time to write a new chapter."

Jose Mourinho had hinted that he and Lukaku were at odds last season, with the supposed rift leading to the striker's loan switch to Everton on deadline day.

Lukaku's chances of first-team football at Stamford Bridge this season were further reduced by Chelsea's decision to bring back Didier Drogba and sign £32m Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa .

Martinez had remained confident of agreeing a permanent deal for Lukaku - when addressing fans in Thailand on Sunday, he said: "Of course we'll get him."

Martinez has also secured the permanent signing of Gareth Barry, who also spent last season on loan at Everton, while bolstering his ranks with Bosnia midfielder Muhamed Besic and tying Ross Barkley down to a new four-year contract.

Lukaku joined Chelsea from Belgian club Anderlecht for £10m in August 2011, spending the 2012-13 season on loan at West Brom, where he scored 17 goals in 35 Premier League appearances.

Romelu Lukaku scored 15 times for Everton in the Premier League last season © AP
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