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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: United agree 75m pound fee for Everton's Lukaku

Sports Shorts: United agree 75m pound fee for Everton's Lukaku

Last updated on: July 06, 2017 16:03 IST

Man Utd agree 75 million pound fee for Everton striker Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

IMAGE:Romelu Lukaku. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Manchester United have agreed a 75 million pound ($97 million)deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.

The move, which is not connected to any talks of a Wayne Rooney deal in the opposite direction, is expected to be formally announced within the next 36 hours.

Lukaku had been United's number one target for next season, the source said.

United will not now be pursuing any interest in Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata.

"Chelsea's interest in Lukaku allowed United to fly under the radar on this," the source said. "But he has been the club's number one target."

There had been much speculation that the Belgian international would return to Chelsea, which he joined in 2011.

Last season Lukaku became the first Everton player since Bob Latchford to score 25 goals in two consecutive seasons in all competitions.

The Belgian was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the first time, and was also included in the six player shortlists for the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards.

Germany's Podolski eyes Champions League berth with Kobe

Lukas Podolski

IMAGE:  Japanese football fan holds welcome placard of Vissel Kobe new player Lukas Podolski during the welcome ceremony. Photograph: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Germany's Lukas Podolski has set his sights on helping Vissel Kobe qualify for the Asian Champions League in his maiden J.League season, the World Cup-winning forward said on Thursday.

Podolski became the biggest name to arrive in the J.League since Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan joined Cerezo Osaka in 2014 when the 32-year-old signed an estimated $5.3 million deal to make the switch from Galatasaray.

"I don't feel any pressure because I have had pressure since I started playing football," Podolski, a member of Germany's 2014 World Cup winning team, told a news conference in Kobe.

"It is not a problem, it is a big challenge for me. I don't play in Europe, I play now in the J.League and Asia, so it is a big move, of course, but I have a target."

"The first target is to fight for the first three places (in the J.League) to qualify for the Champions League," said Podolski who is set to make his debut in a July 29 home match against Omiya Ardija.

Kobe had wanted Podolski to join them before the spring transfer window closed on Mar. 31 and will expect him to lift the club, currently lying 11th and 13 points behind leaders Kashima Antlers, in the second half of the season.

"I am here now to help everyone. I am not alone. I know my team mates will help me. Now we have to go train hard and fight on the pitch for 90 minutes and get three points every game," added the former Bayern Munich and Arsenal player.

Rutherford out of Anniversary Games with ankle injury

Defending world long jump champion Greg Rutherford has been ruled out of the Anniversary Games in London on July 9 with an ankle ligament injury but hopes to recover in time for the World Championships in August, the 30-year-old has said.

Rutherford has struggled with injuries this year and underwent scans on his ankle after winning the long jump event at the Gavardo meeting in Italy last month. He also missed the British team trials last Saturday.

"After some really excellent training this year, the start to the season has been riddled with a series of troublesome injuries, most recently a problem with an ankle ligament," Rutherford said in a statement on his verified Twitter account.

"As a result, I am absolutely gutted to say that I am unable to compete at the Anniversary Games this weekend -- one of the greatest events in our sport."

"Obviously this isn't ideal, but I am doing everything to give myself the best chance of success at the World Championships in London... "

The former Olympic champion is scheduled to defend his title at the World Championships being held from Aug. 4-13.

Man City's Gundogan working hard for pre-season return

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan is working hard to regain his full fitness and feature in the club's pre-season programme, the Germany midfielder has said.

The 26-year-old played 16 matches for City before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in December. He returned to light training last month, ahead of his team mates.

"I still have to do a lot of work until I am back but I am ready and working hard. I am in a good way," he told the club website.

"I am just waiting for the team to come back and maybe I am able to join the first bits of every training session - so warm-up stuff, some passing, some tactical stuff.

"Then hopefully over the next weeks I will be able to join them for the rest of the training sessions and, of course, the games."

Gundogan could return to action this month as City travel to the United States for a pre-season tour where they play rivals Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Spanish champions Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup.

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