By Matt Farr
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has reassured fans that there is nothing to worry about despite a reported major setback in their bid to retain the services of Romelu Lukaku.
Sky Sports had claimed on their official Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon that the Everton striker had met with club officials to inform them that he would not be signing a new deal, leading to further speculation that he is set for a summer exit.
BREAKING: Sky sources – Romelu Lukaku tells Everton he will not sign a new contract. More now on SSNHQ.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 14, 2017
Lukaku, 23, has been Everton’s star performer this season, netting 20 goals from 29 appearances, and fans were left devastated by his reported decision to snub a new deal.
But speaking to TalkSport, Moshiri insisted that fans had nothing to worry about, because the Belgium striker was still under contract with the club – a deal that is set to expire in 2019.
He said: “It’s not an issue. The club is confident with the strong relationship it has with the player and the agent.
“He has two-and-a-half years left on his contract and the new, improved contract is recognition of what he’s done for the club.
“No one should worry, he is our player.”
Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, had earlier claimed that the striker’s long term future was ‘99.999 per cent’ done.
But Moshiri’s comments will please Everton fans, as it suggests the club are not going to take Lukaku’s snub as the final word.
It is believed that they are still hoping to continue negotiations with the player, and that the improved contract offer is still on the table.
The new contract is understood to have been a five-year-deal worth more than £100,000-per-week, but Lukaku is looking to keep his options open.
He has helped Everton put themselves in a strong position in the Premier League to qualify for European competitions with 10 games remaining.
However, the former Chelsea goalscorer is hungry for Champions League football, and is expected to quit Goodison Park in the summer to get it.
In other Everton news, Ray Wilkins believes losing Lukaku could have a knock-on effect for this club man.