Striker Romelu Lukaku has assured Everton he intends to stay at the club, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed.
The 23-year-old has been a transfer target for his former club Chelsea this summer but the Londoners have been reluctant to meet Everton’s valuation of the striker – reported to be £75million.
Lukaku has expressed a desire to play European football and was frustrated by Everton’s 11th-placed finish last season in the Premier League under Roberto Martinez, but the Toffees were determined to keep hold of their biggest asset.
New major shareholder Farhad Moshiri wanted to convince the Belgium international of the project under Koeman, who was appointed in June, and the manager has revealed 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,” said Koeman, speaking after Everton’s 2-1 win at West Brom on Saturday.
Asked if Lukaku might sign a new contract, Koeman added: “Yes that is possible.”
Writing in his column for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Koeman also said: “Lukaku is the top scorer, the target man and only 23 years old. Him staying at the club is just as valuable as a big transfer.”