Everton manager Ronald Koeman does not think Romelu Lukaku is guaranteed to stay at Goodison Park beyond the summer, despite news that the Belgian international is set to sign a new five-year deal with the Merseysiders.
An announcement of a new long-term contract worth £140,000-a-week for Lukaku is expected in the coming days, but Koeman, who believes the deal is close, took a pragmatic approach when addressing the future of his 23-year-old talisman.
"It's still not signed. Yes, from what I heard yes [it is close]," Koeman said in his press conference. When asked if Lukaku will definitely be plying his trade in an Everton shirt next season, the Dutchman said: "In football you don't get guarantees."
The former Southampton boss also addressed the future of Everton playmaker Ross Barkley, whose contract with his boyhood club expires next summer. Koeman revealed that discussions over a new deal for Barkley have not yet started but confirmed that talks are planned and is keen to keep hold of the talented midfielder.
"Ross is one of the players whose contract expires in one year," added Koeman. "We will do everything to keep him and sign him to a new contract, talks are planned but I don't think they've started yet."
Koeman later turned his attentions to his injured contingent and delivered a positive update on Yannick Bolasie. The Congolese forward had successful surgery on his nasty knee injury on Wednesday and is now focusing on returning to action.
Everton's other long-term injury victim, Muhamed Besic, may not feature for the senior team this season but young forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin has recovered from his ankle injury and could be part of the squad to face West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
"Yannick had his surgery yesterday morning and it's really positive, there is still a long way to go for the boy but at least the second surgery is behind him and he is working hard to come back as soon as possible." Koeman added.
"[Muhamed] Besic is doing well, he had fitness tests, he's part of every training session but needs more steps and to play for Under-23s. I don't know if there's an opportunity for him to be fit before the end of the season, it depends on the process now. Dominic [Calvert-Lewin] is back fit and can be part of the team for the weekend."