Tuesday 6 December 2016

Romelu Lukaku turned down Juventus transfer to stay at Everton

Samuel Lovett

Published 05/09/2016 | 14:03

Everton's Romelu Lukaku
Everton's Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has revealed he turned down the chance to move to Juventus this summer, believing it was “too early” for him to move to Serie A.

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The Belgium scored 25 goals in all competitions for the Toffees last season and had been linked with a move away from Goodison Park this summer.

Chelsea allegedly made a number of offers for Lukaku but were not willing to meet Everton's £75m asking price.

Juventus were also linked to the striker but despite missing out on the guarantee of European football by remaining at Everton, Lukaku believes it was “too early” for him to move to Serie A.

In an interview with Belgium newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the 23-year-old said: "It stings a little [not being in European competition], but I'm someone who believes that everything happens for a reason.

"Otherwise I would have gone to Juventus instead of staying at Everton. But I opted for Everton because it was too early for Italy and I have not done badly here.”

Lukaku also revealed that Everton came between himself and those clubs that were interested during the transfer window.

"I knew of the interest of a few clubs, [but] it was quickly very clear that Everton would not let me go,” he said. “It was important to me that I remained calm, and I did.

"I said to myself that I will do my best and who knows what will happen in the future."

The Toffees are hoping to extend Lukaku’s current contract which, at the moment, will keep the player at the club for the next three seasons.

Although the Belgian made clear his intention to progress under new coach Ronald Koeman, he suggested that the coming season could be his last at Goodison Park.

"Now we have a new coach and it is completely different than with Mr [Roberto] Martinez, but I think we can make progress under Ronald Koeman.

“It may be the last step and then look further.”

But despite being prevented from leaving the club this summer, Lukaku insisted he will continue to work hard for Everton.

"I tell Mino [Raiola] what I think about it [contract renewal] and eventually we have to make the decision that is best for me," Lukaku said.

"For me football is not about money – I want to win prizes. But when I get into a situation where I can leave but my team will not let me, I'm not someone who misses training, gets fined and develops a bad reputation.

"I try to remain calm and treat my club with respect. Hopefully they also treat me with respect and I can leave through the front door."

Independent News Service

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