Everton confident of reaching agreement with striker - report
By Harry Sykes
Everton are confident they can still tie Romelu Lukaku down to a new contract, according to a report.
Sports site Bleacher Report claim the Merseyside club are very hopeful that the prolific striker will sign a new five-year contract despite his public comments that he will not do so.
It is said that Goodison officials believe “the parties can still come to a resolution over an extended deal” and that Lukaku’s words have been blown out of proportion in recent weeks.
This reported Everton stance will raise eyebrows among supporters, who have given up hope of Lukaku being at the club next season.
Elite clubs in the Premier League and across Europe have been linked with big-money swoops for the Belgium international, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid among those credited with an interest.
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Everton reportedly value their prize asset at £100million, a price tag that exceeds the £89million world record sum Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer.
Lukaku delivered the bombshell news to Everton chiefs earlier this month that he would not be extending his current contract, which is due to expire in the summer of 2019.
This came after his representative Mino Raiola had claimed that terms were “99.99 per cent” agreed on a five-year, £130,000-a-week deal.
Lukaku has been in prolific form for Everton this season, scoring 22 goals from 30 matches in all competitions, 21 of which have come in the Premier League.
This places the Toffees spearhead top of the league scoring charts ahead of his closest rivals Harry Kane (19), who is currently sidelined with ankle ligament damage, Alexis Sanchez (18) and Diego Costa (17).
In other Everton news, there is friction at the club between manager Ronald Koeman and director of football Steve Walsh.