Everton star forward Romelu Lukaku has been the subject of intense speculation this summer after Chelsea reportedly expressed an interest in their former player.
Having joined the Merseyside club on loan from the Blues back in 2013, the Toffee’s made the move permanent in 2014 in a £28 million deal. Since then the 23-year-old has become one of the side’s most important players, contributing 43 goals in 104 appearances.
The reported interest in the Belgium international has seen Everton slap a £75 million price tag on the player, while Lukaku himself has told his teammates of his desire to leave Liverpool and return to Chelsea.
Now, it has emerged, via the Daily Mail, that Ronald Koeman’s side are furious at the London club’s pursuit of their former player and in a bid to shut down any further talks of a departure from Goodison Park, talks have started with Lukaku over a contract extension to stay in Liverpool.
Everton have been tenacious in their bid to hold on to their top players this summer. In addition to Lukaku, John Stones has been targeted by Manchester City. Unwilling to let either player leave for anything but an astronomical fee, both are still Everton players with less than four weeks left in the transfer window.
Backed by majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, Everton are looking to bounce back from a disappointing season last term, in which they laboured to mid-table obscurity and 11th place, one behind Chelsea.
Now, under the management of former Holland international, Koeman, Toffees’ fans will be anxious to see the likes of Stones and Lukaku lining out for the Merseyside club come August 13th, when they take on Tottenham Hotspur.
To do so with Lukaku committed to the club long term would be a huge boost for fans and Koeman alike and give the Goodison Park outfit the best possible chance of returning to the now perennial battle for European qualification place, a battle that fans have become accustomed to.
Having not improved on a reported initial offer of £57 million by Chelsea for the big Belgian, it’s so far so good for Koeman and co.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena