Bill Kenwright has revealed Everton’s plan to retain Chelsea FC striker Romelu Lukaku and English midfielder Gareth Barry.
Romelu Lukaku’s future at Stamford Bridge has come under increased speculation in this transfer window. The Belgium international, who is currently in Brazil with his national side, enjoyed another wonderful season on loan from Chelsea, this time with Everton as he amassed 15 goals and 6 assists in 29 starts. But despite managing to outperform every other striker the London club have in their squad, Lukaku faces an uncertain future at Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s priority this summer was to sign a new striker as lack of goals from his forwards proved costly in the title race last season. The Blues are believed to have secured the services of Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, and they could yet add more names to their strike force in this window. With the imminent arrival of Costa, Lukaku is unlikely to again regular first team action next season, and the 21-year-old is desperate to gain so. The former Anderlecht striker has already revealed his desire to leave the club in order to gain regular playing time, and is keen to use the World Cup as his stage to attract interest from suitors.
Everton are keen to sign the Chelsea forward on loan once again after Lukaku helped them fifth in the league table. The Merseyside club are also looking to sign Gareth Barry permanently after the England midfielder’s wonderful performances last season at the center of the park. Barry’s contract with Manchester City expired at the end of this season and Everton could sign him for free in this window. Chairman Bill Kenwright has revealed his plans to sign both Lukaku and Barry as Everton look to retain most of their squad from last season.
“Lukaku we would love to keep. Gareth Barry we would love to keep and that is ongoing work and we obviously have to add to the squad, so it is non-stop.
“Romelu was a great addition to Everton. I have to tell you, off the pitch as well as on, he is an extraordinary boy. As you know he speaks all those languages, he’s got a terrific family and he walks the walk as well as talking the talk.
“We would love to have him back and people at Chelsea are good friends of mine so we are hopeful. But he is at the World Cup now and I think we will have to see what happens at the World Cup.
“Gareth Barry had a great season for us and I know the manager has spoken to him and I will meet with his people and we are hopeful that he will be there next season.” – The Everton chairman said in an interview.
Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu, who also impressed during his time at Everton, has returned to the Catalan club at the end of this season, although Roberto Martinez is keen to sign him for another loan spell, Kenwright insists they will look for other options as well.
“Who’s to say what will happen to Deulofeu next season but there will be other Deulofeus that he will be looking at” – he added.