Imminent Everton arrival signals end of Lukaku’s time on Merseyside

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The new Premier League season is less than three weeks away and while it’s unknown where Romelu Lukaku will be playing, the chances of him leaving Everton are looking more likely as new boss Ronald Koeman looks set to sign Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic.

So is this a sign that the Toffees are admitting defeat in their battle to keep hold of the Belgian striker?

Koeman has already failed in his attempts to lure former Southampton striker Graziano Pelle to Goodison Park, the Italian instead opting to join Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng.

It seems unlikely that the 53-year old manager will bring Arnautovic in to partner Lukaku up top.

Although combined they scored 29 and assisted 12 in the league last year, it’s thought that the Austrian international will come in as a replacement.

Arnautovic was a standout player last year in a campaign which saw Stoke finish above both Chelsea and Everton in ninth place.

The Austrian international was Stoke’s top scorer last campaign and represented his country at this summer’s Euros, although they failed to progress from the group stages of the tournament.

His versatility in attack is also something which clearly appeals to Koeman.

The 27-year old spent a lot of last season out wide and it seems Potters’ manager Mark Hughes is planning for life without Arnautovic as he’s already brought in highly rated teenager Ramadan Sobhi from Egyptian club Al Ahly.

Everton have reportedly slapped a £75m price tag on Lukaku’s head and news of Arnautovic’s imminent arrival suggests the Toffees may just have found a buyer.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.