Everton are set to make Romelu Lukaku the highest paid player in their club’s history by offering him a new contract.
Romelu Lukaku arrived at Everton on a loan from Chelsea and a year later, the Belgian made the move permanent in a club record deal worth £28 million. He has since gone on to become one of Everton’s most consistent performers and has notched up 54 goals in 111 appearances, post his transfer to the Goodison.
At just 23, these are hugely impressive figures and his performances caught the eye of several clubs with Manchester United, Bayern Munich and even former club Chelsea all heavily linked with a move for the Belgian international in the summer transfer window.
And, according to the Liverpool Echo, Everton are set to reward him for his performances and make him the highest paid player in the club’s history. They report that the club are in the final stages of completing a deal which will see Lukaku earn in excess of £100,000 a week.
Lukaku’s current contract at Everton runs until 2019 and it is likely that Everton will be looking to add at least two years to the expiry date. The Echo also report that the contract will have a release clause set at a minimum of £80m.
If true, it is clear that Everton have accepted that there will be interest in their striker every transfer window and that they will eventually have to sell, but it is also clear that they are protecting themselves with this release clause and will not be forced into selling Lukaku for anything less than they desire.
The report also states that Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s billionaire majority investor, has struck up a rapport with Lukaku’s agent Mino Raiola after the pair were spotted together at Goodison Park during Monday’s Merseyside derby. They state that it was this rapport that convinced Lukaku and Raiola that it was worth staying at Everton for another year, despite interest in him from bigger clubs in Europe.
Everton’s ambitions have heightened considerably now that Moshiri has pledged to spend money on the club and perhaps, with the right investment, Lukaku could be persuaded to stay beyond this season. At 23, he still has plenty of time in his career and may want to develop further with Everton.
However, the lure of Champions League football is extremely hard to resist, especially for a youngster that is eager to prove himself, and Lukaku’s head could easily be turned should Manchester United, Chelsea or Bayern Munich choose to come in with a real offer.