Manchester United are believed to have agreed a fee in the region of £75m for Everton forward and Chelsea target Romelu Lukaku despite spending a hefty portion of the summer pursuing a deal for Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, who has seemingly been left in the lurch by the Red Devils.
Lukaku has made no secret of his desire to leave Ronald Koeman's side to play in the Champions League and compete for titles, but Everton have attempted to hold firm over the Belgium and insist a deal has not yet been struck.
The former Chelsea prodigy has longed for a return to Stamford Bridge and it is understood the Premier League champions are not completely out of the hunt for Lukaku just yet.
Many believe the potential transfer of Lukaku, valued at around £100m by Everton, will have a domino effect on the market. The move is set to have an immediate impact in the north west, London and the capital of Spain.
With Lukaku now becoming Manchester United's first-choice target, a deal for Morata is completely off the table. The €90m-rated Spain international was believed to be closing in on a move to Old Trafford and was fully expecting to leave Real Madrid this summer, but United's dramatic change of heart has left Morata in the cold.
United tested Madrid's resolve with a bid last week, but Zinedine Zidane's men did not realise Ed Woodward and co had other options that they were more than open to pursuing.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is a known admirer of Morata and was believed to be keen on a deal for the former Juventus hitman earlier this year. The Blues have been monitoring Morata as well as Lukaku for quite some time and could now reignite their interest in the Spaniard, though they have still not given up hope of pipping Manchester United to the signing of Lukaku, who scored 25 Premier League goals for Everton last season.
Lukaku was a boyhood Chelsea supporter and has designs on returning to west London and proving himself at the club that sold him for £28m three years ago. The Blues were hoping to bring in the former West Bromwich Albion loanee to replace Diego Costa, who looks set to return to Atletico Madrid, but they will now have to focus their efforts elsewhere or hope Lukaku rejects United in order to force through a move to the capital.
Lukaku told reporters last month that he is in complete control over his future, insisting that he "will take the decisions" regarding his next destination. But the influence of Paul Pogba, with whom he has been holidaying in Los Angeles, may have had a big impact on his decision to sign for Manchester United, who are primed to welcome their latest star striker whilst bidding farewell to a former one.
Wayne Rooney's glittering career at Manchester United is all but over, with the twilight of his career set to start where it all began.
It is suggested that the deal to bring Rooney back to Goodison Park is not dependent on Lukaku. Yet, the boyhood Evertonian's imminent arrival on Merseyside has certainly been a makeweight in negotiations over a deal for the former Anderlecht starlet and has perhaps lessened the initial fee that United will have to pay, with a host of add-ons set to be added on top of the touted £75m.
Rooney was scheduled to fly with Manchester United for their pre-season tour of America, where Lukaku currently holidaying after being given permission to remain in Los Angeles by Everton. The Toffees are confident of concluding a deal for their former boy wonder, who currently earns around £250,000-a-week at Old Trafford.
The view in some quarters is that Everton have already spent the money they will receive for Lukaku on Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez. Koeman's side have already prepared for life after Lukaku and will hope to replace him with Rooney and Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud.
Celtic forward Moussa Dembele, Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi, Bournemouth's Josh King and Burnley's Andre Gray are also potential targets for Everton, who have the financial muscle and a new-found activism in the transfer market to help them cope with loss of Lukaku.