Everton manager Ronald Koeman has reiterated his desire to keep Romelu Lukaku out of the clutches of Chelsea and Manchester United and insists the Toffees will "try everything" in order to keep the Belgium international at Goodison Park.
Lukaku has two years left on his current contract at Goodison Park and recently rejected the offer of a new five-year deal worth £140,000-a-week (€168,000). Despite Lukaku's stance, and his desire to feature in the Champions League as soon as possible, the Everton hierarchy are determined to retain his services and have slapped a world-record £100m price tag on their coveted asset.
The 23-year-old is currently the Premier League's top scorer with 24 goals this season and has markedly improved his all-round game under Koeman, who is set to guide Everton into the Europa League in his first season in charge on Merseyside. The former Southampton boss is pleased with the progress his talismanic forward has made, and is understandably keen to see him stay at the club and resist a move to his former club Chelsea, who were keen to sign their former prodigy last summer.
"I am not involved in that business. He has a two-year contract," Koeman said in a press conference. "If somebody is interested [in him] they will call the board of the club and we speak about it, but we will try everything to keep him at Everton for next season.
"I have had several conversations with him about how in my opinion he needs to play as a striker. He is working hard, he is improving and with 23 goals with five games to go, he can reach a really high total. He is improving and now is a better striker for the team than he was last year."
Lukaku's wondrous run of form could well continue when the Toffees travel to face West Ham United atthe The London Stadium on Saturday (22 April). The former Chelsea hitman has scored in nine consecutive games against the Hammers and, with Slavic Bilic's defence in a rather shabby state at present, he may well carry on his rather astounding record.