Everton reportedly believe Romelu Lukaku’s mother, Adolphine, is to blame for the striker’s refusal to sign a new contract at Goodison Park.
The Toffees have been rocked by Lukaku’s announcement this week that he wants to leave the club this summer to play Champions League football, with the Belgian explaining his reasons behind the snub in this interview.
News that Lukaku wants to quit comes as even more of a shock to the club, given just a fortnight earlier, the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, said a new five-year, £130,000-a-week deal, was “99.9 per cent” certain.
But following Raiola’s confidence that a new contract would be signed, the Belgium international was given time off to go home during Everton’s trip to Dubai last month and subsequently had a change of heart.
Now The Times report that Everton believe Adolphine was instrumental in Lukaku’s U-turn. They say she discussed her son’s desire to play in the Champions League and advised him to make snub a new deal in a bid to force a move this summer.
The 23-year-old striker has made no secret of his mother’s influence on his career, ironically crediting her with his original decision to join Everton three years ago.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman, meanwhile, who has urged supporters not to give Lukaku a hard time in Saturday’s clash with Hull.
Contesting Lukaku’s claims that Everton lack ambition, the Dutchman said: “Of course I am not happy about this. If Everton is not a club with a lot of ambition I would not be manager.
“But I am not so afraid about his situation because the player has more than two years on his contract.
“Everyone knows what can happen in football but you need to respect your contract.”