How quickly things can change, eh? Just when it looked like Romelu Lukaku was odds-on to extend his stay at Everton, it emerges that the Belgian striker has now rejected the offer on the table.
Last week Lukaku was reported to have agreed terms on a mammoth new £140,000-a-week contract extension that would’ve made him the highest-paid player in Everton history, with his agent Mino Raiola saying the deal was “99.9 percent” done.
However, tonight word is circulating that the 23-year-old forward, who still has two years to run on his current Toffees contract, has pulled out of negotiations as he has “no desire” to sign an extension.
According to BBC Sport, Lukaku has decided that he wants to try his hand in the Champions League sooner rather than later (he’s kept that one quiet) and believes that Everton simply cannot offer him that, at least not within the next couple of years.
Everton may still hope to persuade Lukaku to stay, but if not will demand a few in excess of £60m for the striker who has scored 19 goals this season.
Manchester United are said to be monitoring the situation, as well as former employers Chelsea, who flogged Lukaku off to Goodison in 2014.
If he does skidaddle at the end of the season, it would also create an almighty quandary for Everton, who would be losing the man around which they base their entire style of play.
Realistically, there aren’t many young, mobile, like-for-like options out there and most would be way out of reach, even with £60+ million to chuck around.
It’s a rare old pickle and no mistakin’.