Gareth Barry believes Everton can satisfy Romelu Lukaku's desire for Champions League football and is confident the Blues can reach Europe's top table if the Belgian forward stays at Goodison Park. Lukaku is the top scorer in the Premier League with 16 goals this season and has spoken on many occasions about his desire to play in Europe's top club competition.

Barry, who at nearly 36 is still an important part of Everton's set-up, says the Goodison hierarchy are 'desperate' to break into the top four sooner rather than later, like Lukaku, and thinks the club are making progress under Ronald Koeman.

"There have been a few stories over the last couple of years about Rom wanting to play football at the highest level - and that is the Champions League." Barry told talkSPORT.

"I'm sure he would have had conversations with the powers at the club and they are desperate to get there. With the signings we are making and the manager we have got at the minute, that is the road we want to go.

"Sometimes you have to be patient but I'm confident that, if Rom sticks around, Everton can get there, I don't think I have met a player who is so hungry to score goals."

Lukaku scored four in his side's 6-3 win over Bournemouth on Saturday (4 February) and is currently enjoying a rich vein of form with 10 goals in his last 11 games. But former Aston Villa and Manchester City star Barry still sees room for improvement in the 23-year-old's game and spoke of his desire to be the best he can be.

Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku was at his devastating best against Bournemouth Getty Images

"He is desperate to keep on improving," added Barry. "He is a great finisher already but he won't stop there - he is working hard all the time. That mentality he has got to stick the ball in the net is taking him a long way at the moment for someone so young, which people forget.

"There is still room for improvement and he has got that personality and character to want to try and improve so I'm sure he won't stop now. He will be desperate to keep on breaking records."