Everton turn to Real Madrid toppler as their Lukaku alternative

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In an ideal world, the way Everton’s season pans out goes something like this: qualify for the Champions League at the expense of Arsenal and use the cash windfall to make Romelu Lukaku’s stay on Merseyside permanent.

However, you only have to talk to Jose Mourinho to find out that life isn’t always fair and with the Portuguese planning on making Everton give up one prized asset in order to land the Belgian a contingency plan may have to be drawn up.

Should the Toffees not land their 7/2-rated Champions League goal, attaining Lukaku may not be all that realistic anyway, so a Colombian hit man has been lined up instead.

Sevilla’s Carlos Bacca is enjoying a season of supreme goal scoring touch, registering 14 league goals since signing from FC Bruges last summer, including the brace that sent Real Madrid to a destabilising defeat last week.

As there’s a £9m release clause factored into his contract with Los Rojiblancos, who are known selling club anyway, Everton will have to move quickly if they decide the 27-year-old is the man they want up top next season.

Having been picked up for what now seems a bargain £5m from the Belgian outfit, Sevilla will be aware of Bacca’s rising stock across Europe, especially after his Ronaldo-beating recent double.

With Nikica Jelavic gone, Lacina Traore only on loan and Arouna Kone a long-term layoff, Roberto Martinez is seriously short of striking options, making the chances of a move for the Colombian striker even greater.

Landing Champions League football will certainly help sweeten any deal, making the Arsenal game Everton face next up hugely important. The irony of Lukaku helping them achieve that would be lost on nobody, with the striker 5/1 to score the first goal.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.