Forward Romelu Lukaku has had talks with Everton manager Ronald Koeman, and will stay with Everton. The Mirror is reporting that the Belgium striker will ignore Chelsea’s apparent interest in him. Reports earlier have said that Lukaku has been offered a new improved contract that would make him Everton’s highest-paid player ever, which would go with his label of being the Toffees most expensive transfer player, unless Bolasie makes the add-ons in his deal.
Earlier in the summer, Chelsea believed they would re-sign Lukaku in a £68million deal, two years after he’d left them in a then-Everton record £28m move.
David Anderson of The Mirror is now reporting that Lukaku would rebuff any approaches from Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, and would indeed apply himself to the Everton project that the Dutch manager is building.
Paul Joyce in the Express quotes Koeman speaking to Dutch paper De Telegraaf as saying -
"For the club and for this group it is totally awesome as ten days before the transfer deadline Romelu Lukaku enters the manager’s office and tells us that he doesn’t want to leave but has decided to stay at Everton."
“Lukaku is the top scorer, the target man and only 23 years old. Him staying at the club is just as valuable as a big transfer. He is not only a great player but also a fine human being. He will experience football as you want a football player to experience it.
“It’s nice to work with him and vice versa, I think he sees that we want to improve a lot in all areas. Both the team, and to develop himself into a top player is a challenge for me.”
The timing of Lukaku’s comments are all the more interesting with Koeman saying Thursday that he already had a plan in place for if the player left.
“I have two plans – one is with Lukaku and one without him. Of course we have names in mind. We can use one more in that position [anyway].
“There is a lot of interest for him we know, he’s a good player. Finally, you can’t win it if really it is a big team who spend a lot of money for an Everton player or a Southampton player.
“I had the same story in Southampton. But there was not really that big bid on table and still now there is no big bid on the table.”
This knowledge will come as a big relief to Everton fans as they can finally rest easy knowing that any incoming striker signings will be to augment Lukaku, and not replace the forward.
Story edited Saturday 20th August, 11:42 BST