By Dominic Toner
Everton forward Romelu Lukaku is very close to agreeing a new deal with the club, according to a report.
The Echo claim that the Toffees are in the advanced stages of agreeing a contract with the 23-year-old.
The report details that Lukaku will become the club’s highest ever paid player as he signs a contract in excess of £100,000-a-week.
It is understood that Everton will be able to demand a fee in excess of £80million for the striker if clubs decide to pursue his signature in the future.
Lukaku has become a crucial player for Everton in recent seasons since he joined for £28million in 2014 from Chelsea.
The Belgian international is the first-choice forward for the club and has been crucial already for manager Ronald Koeman this season.
He has made 17 appearances this campaign across all competitions and scored nine goals in return.
Everton are short of attacking options in their squad and Lukaku is relied upon to be the main source of goals for the team.
The striker has racked up 144 appearances for the Merseyside club and scored an impressive 70 goals.
He will be able to focus on scoring goals for Everton once he agrees a new deal and will want to convince all supporters of his qualities, with some of them accusing him of being lazy in the past.
Lukaku is certainly one of the most natural finishers in the Premier League and will be chasing the golden boot this season, but is currently four goals behind the leader Diego Costa of Chelsea.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton have made a good decision in prioritising the future of their striker Romelu Lukaku, who is the best player in the squad. The Toffees are hopeful of competing for European spots this season and Lukaku is one of few top players they have. He has been a prolific goalscorer during his time on Merseyside and is still continuing to get better at 23. Some of Europe’s top clubs have been monitoring him and stamping a mega buy-out clause should deter most of them. Lukaku has proven that he can score goals in the Premier League and is Everton’s most crucial player. He has on many occasion been the match winner for them when the team plays badly and Everton don’t have many forward options.
In other Everton transfer news, West Brom are set to make a shock move for a midfielder after the club’s approach.