LUKAKU DROPS A BOMBSHELL
Everton striker rejects new contract at Goodison Park
No talks are planned but the club stance is that they will do their best to persuade him to change his mind.
Significantly, the Belgium international has never said that he saw the peak years of his career at Goodison Park. When he scored against Sunderland on Feb 25, he refused to discuss his future.
His decision to pull out of any further talks has nothing to do with money — it is all to do with him not wanting to appear disingenuous.
Lukaku has been open about his ambitions to play in the Champions League and compete for the top prizes, and this stunning twist is likely to lead to a stampede for his signature.
Chelsea were keen to bring him back when Antonio Conte arrived last summer but they never made an official bid, with Everton letting it be known that they valued him at £65 million.
Everton will look for a fee significantly in excess of that figure if Lukaku leaves.
His former club will be interested again with Diego Costa’s
Daily Mail future unclear. Lukaku would be happy to return to the club who took him to England from Anderlecht six years ago.
Manchester United will also be a firm option. Raiola oversaw the transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba, and Lukaku, contrary to some perceptions, would not be against a reunion with Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho sanctioned Lukaku’s £28 million sale to Everton in July 2014 but there is no lingering animosity as Lukaku explained during an interview in December 2015 that he ‘knows what he did for me’ at Chelsea. Pogba is also a close friend of Lukaku.
Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain will also be interested after his decision to leave — one that will dismay supporters and deflate manager Ronald Koeman.
During Euro 2016, Koeman convinced Lukaku to stay. The No 10 is having a prolific season, scoring 11 goals in his last 12 games.
He recently overtook Duncan Ferguson as Everton’s leading scorer in the Premier League and is the league’s joint-top scorer on 19 goals alongside Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Daily Mail