West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Everton manager Ronald Koeman says Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has decided to stay at Goodison Park despite strong interest from Chelsea.
Lukaku has been high on Chelsea’s wanted list since Antonio Conte took over as manager in the close-season and the west Londoners were considering whether to make a bid close to Everton’s reported £75 million asking price.
The 23-year-old, frustrated by Everton’s 11th-place finish in the Premier League last season, was said to be interested in returning to Chelsea, where he played for three years before joining the Toffees after a successful loan spell in 2014.
But Everton refused to accept his transfer request and Koeman, who was appointed as Roberto Martinez’s successor in June, revealed after Saturday’s 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion that Lukaku came to see him on Friday to tell him he plans to stay.
“It is true. He spoke to me yesterday morning to say that he made the decision by himself to stay at least one more season at Everton and that is great news for everybody,” Koeman said after Lukaku came off the bench to help inspire victory at the Hawthorns.
Asked if Lukaku might sign a new contract, Koeman added: “Yes that is possible.”