The story of whether star striker Romelu Lukaku will sign a new contract with Everton or not is turning into a saga now, like anything else Toffee-related over the last few years.
In the last few weeks, Lukaku’s super star agent Mino Raiola has assured the Blues multiple times that the player was going to sign a new contract, and that the talks with the club had gone very well and it was all done bar the shouting.
Everyone knows that the new contract which is rumoured to be worth £140,000-a-week on a five-year is barely worth the bonded paper it will be signed on. However, what it does is give Everton plenty of leverage should another club come in and dazzle Lukaku and/or Raiola with promises of greater glories.
Which is why the Toffees are insistent that there be a hefty buyout clause put into the contract should the Belgian choose to leave Goodison Park for whatever reason. And the sum of that buyout clause is what is turning out to be the latest stumbling block on this great trek to securing Lukaku’s Everton future.
It turns out that the club are seeking a minimum £90m buyout in the contract, which would make Lukaku the most expensive player in the world. Considering that his best buddy Paul Pogba (also another Raiola client) is currently the most expensive player in the world, you would think that his camp would be satisfied with the provision.
However, there is also a good chance that the astronomical sum would likely turn off clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea who have been rumoured to be sniffing around to see if they can pick up the player on the cheap, so Lukaku’s side are instead asking for a clause between £60m and £70m, which Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has refused to, and with good reason.
The Blues have proven to be very canny negotiators in the past when it comes to selling players - John Stones for £47.5m, Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m, Joleon Lescott for £22m and more, so there’s really no reason for them to change at this point.
Speaking to the media after Saturday’s win, Lukaku said no a couple of times when asked if he would be signing a new contract, but he appeared to be laughing the whole time standing right next to the Everton PR representative, so it’s difficult to draw any conclusions from that.
Either way, Everton are well within their rights to protect their investment in the player whose future will inevitably play out not on Merseyside.