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Lukaku slipping from Everton's grasp

Hopes of signing the striker permanently are fading....

Jan Kruger

Chelsea are reportedly ready to send Romelu Lukaku out on loan to Atletico Madrid, ending Everton's hopes of re-signing the player.

Roberto Martinez is keen to sign the Belgian on a permanent deal but a major sticking point is always going to be the hefty £20million plus transfer fee as well as Lukaku's desire to play in the Champions League.

A move to Atletico would grant that wish, while also solving the Spanish side's striking problem given they are about to send Diego Costa the other way to Stamford Bridge.

The Daily Express, which in turn sources Spanish newspaper AS, claims Chelsea will loan out Lukaku to the Spanish champions with a view of having him in amongst the first-team for the start of the 2015-16 season.

This news comes just a day after the striker gave us all hope by revealing how much he enjoyed playing at Goodison last season and praised Martinez for turning him into the 'complete striker'.

"Let me say that I am now the complete striker. I never thought I was a target man, a No.9 who could play with his back to the goal. I always wanted to run at defenders. That is still a great quality, but now I can do both. I love playing as a real striker in the box now.

"I have been playing all season for a team which has more than 60 percent of the time possession of the ball. Technically I have been improving as a player. I play for a manager who makes his team play really good football and I don’t have to chase the ball all the time. Getting the ball so often close to the goal becomes a natural thing.

"My concentration is better than ever on finishing, rather than on running with the ball. I am absolutely convinced that moving to Everton was the best step in my career. When you feel everything is working out, it makes you so relaxed and happy as a player in big matches.’’