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June 28, 2017

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Lukaku joins Everton in club record deal

LONDON--Everton broke their club transfer record on Wednesday when they paid 28 million pounds (US$47.4 million) to sign Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku on a five-year deal from Premier League rivals Chelsea, the club announced.

Lukaku finished as Everton's top scorer last season after finding the net 16 times in 33 appearances while on loan at Goodison Park, helping Roberto Martinez's side to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old played for Belgium at the World Cup, but his chances of establishing himself at Chelsea were hindered by the arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and the return of veteran striker Didier Drogba.

"I am really excited about rejoining Everton.

I had a fantastic experience last season and a great relationship with the manager, the chairman, the staff, the players and the fans. I can't wait to get started again and I'm looking forward to a successful season," said Lukaku.

"This is the place where I belong. I had lots of options but I wanted to stay in the Premier League and I decided very quickly that I wanted to come back here. I'm 21 years of age and this is a good step for me — I need to play at a high level and in a good team.

"Last year was a very good year and I had a feeling this was the best place to grow as a young man and a footballer, so I'm very pleased to be here again and to help my teammates to reach the heights."

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