Everton appear to be closing in on a club-record transfer for striker Romelu Lukaku.
Reports in the Belgium international’s homeland suggest a five-year contract has been agreed and although Everton have not commented Press Association Sport understands a deal could be progressed very quickly.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Goodison Park from Chelsea and was the Toffees’ leading scorer with 16 goals in 33 appearances, helping the club finish fifth.
Martinez made Lukaku one of his primary summer targets but the player’s involvement in the World Cup and extensive negotiations with Chelsea have taken time.
The striker tweeted a picture of himself on a plane with the message “Time to write a new chapter.....”, although whether the inclusion of a partially-obscured exit sign behind the player’s head was intentional or accidental is open to debate.
Lukaku’s Belgian team-mate Marouane Fellaini, who coincidentally is currently Everton’s club-record signing after a £15m fee was paid to Standard Liege back in 2008, added further support to reports.
The Manchester United midfielder’s post on Instagram said “CONGRATULATIONS to my manromelu_lukaku17 on signing forofficialeverton !! Big future ahead” and also featured Lukaku’s plane picture alongside an Everton badge and a shot of the pair in battle against each other in the Premier League last season.
Martinez admits centre-forward is an area he has prioritised since the end of the season.
“We clearly need to strengthen in the number nine position, the striker, and probably another attacking player,” he said.
“There is not an anxiety at finding out who the strikers will be.”
“It is a matter of seeing how quickly Arouna Kone (who missed much of last season with a knee injury) is adapting and when he will be available.”
“I am not too concerned about the timing (of signings), all I want to do is make sure we get the right footballers.”
“We need up to three attacking players and that is bearing in mind the different ways we are going to play and attack.”
“We know exactly our priorities and the names. We will work hard to get them but they need to be a perfect fit.”
At a reported £25m Lukaku would not leave much left for further squad strengthening but Martinez is not desperate just to add numbers to a relatively small playing staff.
“Every player that comes in needs to add to what we already have,” he added.
“We are not going to bring in players for the sake of it, it will be the ones we need.”
“The dressing room is something special and my only worry is bringing in a player who could disrupt that.”