Romelu Lukaku to sign new Everton deal but may leave in summer

Goodison Park club expects to be busy in January transfer window

 Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is closed down by Dejan Lovren in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool.   Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is closed down by Dejan Lovren in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

 

Romelu Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, has said the striker has agreed “99.9 per cent” of a new contract with Everton but that the player’s future at Goodison Park will be reassessed in the summer.

Everton have been in talks over a contract extension for Lukaku since August and Ronald Koeman last week said that deals for the Belgium international and Ross Barkley would be addressed in the new year. Lukaku has two and a half years remaining on the five-year contract he signed when becoming Everton’s record £28m signing in July 2014. His progress as the club’s leading goalscorer, however, will see him rewarded with enhanced and extended terms worth around £100,000 a week.

“We are talking to the club in a good spirit so we are very hopeful,” said Raiola, who met Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and chairman, Bill Kenwright, at the Merseyside derby on Monday. “There are no problems on the way that I foresee. I don’t see any big problems. It is a question of putting the details on the paper.”

Raiola, who was speaking to TalkSport on Wednesday, has established a good working relationship with Moshiri and Kenwright. But a new long-term contract for his client does not necessarily translate into a long-term commitment from a striker who has made no secret of wanting Champions League football.

Everton placed a prohibitive £60 million price-tag on the 23-year-old in the summer, sufficient to ward off interest from his former club Chelsea and keep Lukaku at Goodison for Koeman’s debut campaign as manager. The striker has responded with nine goals and three assists but Raiola, who could avoid a repeat of last summer should Everton agree to a release clause in the new contract, admits Lukaku’s position will be reviewed at the end of the season.

“With Everton, we have 99.9 per cent reached terms,” the agent said. “If Romelu is good enough, strong enough, to move in the next year then we will talk to Everton about it. It is a very good relationship at the moment. We know what both parties want. Everton is going through a transition from a club that was maybe aiming for Europa League and now they are more ambitious and maybe in the near future will go into the Champions League or maybe even win the Premier League at a certain stage. For sure, it is an interesting club in England. ”

Raiola added: “In football, you can’t look too much in front. You need to take it one transfer window at a time. For now, we are agreeing terms and then we will see in the summer what happens and how the situation is. If there is an interest from both parties to move on, then we will talk with the club, but at this point we only have one objective and that is to perform as well as possible for Everton.”

The Goodison club are expected to be active in the January transfer window, with the Manchester United pair Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay high on the list and Charlton Athletic’s 19-year-old forward Ademola Lookman another target. Everton announced a loss of £24.3 million for 2015-16 in accounts posted at the weekend but also that Moshiri had since provided an £80 million interest-free loan. That has been used to pay off other loans totalling £54.8 million plus the costs of sacking Roberto Martínez and his backroom staff mid-contract last season.

Martínez’s successor admits the Everton squad needs surgery in the next two transfer windows to achieve the club’s long-term aims. Koeman said: “We know that due to the people we have inside the club that this is a project which is for the long term and it does not mean that you are fighting for trophies within six months of arriving at a new club.

“We need to invest not only in January but also in the next summer transfer window. I believe that the club are aware of this and that I will receive the time. But it is not easy to get time within football these days.” Guardian service

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.