It was a massive shock for the blu side of the Merseyside, Everton Football Club as Romelu Lukaku broke the news that he will noe extend his contract at the club side.Lukaku is on the radar of Europe’s top clubs after telling them he will not sign a new deal.
It had seemed a formality that Lukaku would become the first player in the club’s history to sign a deal worth more than £100,000 a week, with negotiations going on since last summer.
Everton were prepared to pay the 23-year-old a wage in the region of £130,000 per week, which would have dramatically altered their pay structure. But after training at the club’s Finch Farm base, Lukaku dropped the bombshell on Tuesday afternoon.
The club hierarchy were taken aback, not least because Lukaku’s agent Mino Raiola had recently gone on record to say it was ‘99.99 per cent’ likely he would stay. 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 February 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 £65million. 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 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.