Lukaku agrees deal with new club, says Everton return not an option

Lukaku agrees deal with new club, says Everton return not an option
June 07 09:51 2017

Romelu Lukaku says remaining at Everton next season “is not really an option” and suggested his agent has reached an agreement over personal terms with a rival club, believed to be Chelsea, as he seeks to make his mark with a team in the Champions League.

The striker, who began Belgium’s friendly victory over Czech Republic on Monday in the run-up to a World Cup qualifier in Estonia on Friday, cast his future into doubt at Goodison Park in March when he confirmed he had rejected a lucrative new contract.

He has now stated his intention is to leave this summer though Everton will seek £100m for the services for a player who is contracted for a further two years, a world record fee Chelsea will be reluctant to pay for a forward they sold for £28m in 2014.

Yet, while he has also attracted tentative interest from Manchester United and Bayern Munich, Lukaku’s heart is set on a return to Stamford Bridge with the onus now effectively on the Premier League champions to negotiate a deal with his current club.

“Staying at Everton is not really an option for next season,” the striker said. “I am staying calm about everything. There is nothing concrete with another club at the moment, but my agent is busy discussing things. I’m not going to make big declarations on my future, but I know where I want to play: in a club who are competing in the Champions League and can win titles in England. Staying in England is best for me. I know the competition, and I’ve almost reached 100 goals in the league, which is a milestone I want to achieve.

“The Premier League is a dream for me, but I also want to win the Champions League, the FA Cup and other prizes. I don’t want to stay at the same level. I want to improve, and I know where I want to do that.

“My agent is now talking to a club. I know where I want to go, so I’ll just stay patient. I know meetings have been arranged, so I’m just waiting for a call. We are now in discussions with the club. We’ll see what happens.”

Lukaku conducted a number of interviews on Monday night and Tuesday, including one in English to Sky Sports in which he added: “My agent knows what’s going to happen and I know as well. I’m staying calm and we have an agreement with the club as well.

“We have a direction where we want to go. I’m just going to rest for a few days and then just prepare for next season. I want to put the time in on my holiday to take everything to another level and be better than I was last year.”

It remains to be seen whether compromise can be reached between Chelsea and Everton over a fee or, indeed, if the Premier League champions still prioritise Lukaku’s purchase if Diego Costa is to remain at the club next season.

The Spain forward is resisting the chance to move to the Chinese Super League, where Tianjin Quanjian were initially prepared to pay £76m for his services, with his preference very much a return to Atlético Madrid instead. However the Spanish club are currently operating under an incoming transfer ban and will not be able to sign players until January 2018.

[Guardian UK]