Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has been persistently linked with a move away from the Toffees in recent months PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Everton manager Ronald Koeman believes Romelu Lukaku is capable of playing for a bigger club. The sought-after 23-year-old has been linked with a host of major clubs in recent months, including Chelsea and Juventus – and Koeman has admitted the striker has the ability to play at the very highest level.

Lukaku has already scored seven league goals this season and Koeman – who played alongside the likes of Romario and Pep Guardiola during his spell at Barcelona – believes the Belgian is too good for the club.

"I think he can emulate Patrick Kluivert, who also rose to prominence at a young age and enjoyed a fantastic career," Koeman told Dutch newspaper HLN. "He eventually played for Barcelona and I can see Lukaku doing the same."

Koeman said Lukaku should have aspirations to play for a club of Barcelona's size, rather than being content to play for Everton. "Everton should normally not be the end for him," said the Dutchman, who played for Barcelona from 1989 until 1995.

"Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career. He has the potential to play for a bigger club than Everton, but nobody knows what will happen after this season."

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte recently downplayed speculation linking the Blues with a big-money move for Lukaku. The Belgian was thought to be a transfer target for the Stamford Bride club during the summer, but Conte has insisted he is happy with his attacking options. "Lukaku for sure is a very good player," the Italian explained. "He is young and improving a lot, but I am very satisfied with my players."