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Romelu Lukaku

Koeman admits Chelsea target Lukaku won't sign new Everton contract

16:02 SAST 2017/04/13
RomeluLukaku - cropped
The Premier League's leading goalscorer will not be committing to fresh terms at Goodison Park as speculation regarding a summer transfer rages on

Romelu Lukaku has told Ronald Koeman he will not sign a new contract at Everton, the Toffees boss said on Thursday.

The Belgium international sits atop the Premier League scoring charts with 23 goals this season and has been linked with a return to former club Chelsea.

Lukaku is under contract at Goodison Park until 2019, but Koeman revealed an extension beyond that looks unlikely.

'Lukaku ready for big, big move'

"He told me he won't sign a new contract," Koeman told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League meeting with Burnley.

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has backed Lukaku – who was on Thursday nominated for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award – to prove himself by heading back to Stamford Bridge, adding that he knows what the Everton man's future plans are without revealing them.

That came as news to Koeman, who responded to the comments – given in an interview to Sky Sports – by saying: "No [I don't know where Lukaku wants to go]. Maybe I wait for the call from Drogba to tell me where he wants to go."

Ross Barkley's contract is set to expire at the end of next season and the midfielder has also been linked with a move to a Premier League rival.

Koeman hopes to match Barkley's ambition by securing Champions League football in the near future and wants the situation sorted by the end of the campaign.

Barkley told to sign or be sold

He said: "I'm not involved [in the negotiations], but I know that the board is talking to his agent. We need to know the answer before the end of the season.

"We will offer him the contract that is good, that is normal for the player. I think with how he is improving this season, Everton is the best place for him.

"I spoke to Ross several weeks ago and he mentioned his ambition is the Champions League and I told him I have the same ambition and I think we are going in the right direction.

"Everybody has seen the difference between this season and last – the club is going in the right direction."