LONDON – High-scoring Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has decided where he wants to move ahead of the next season and says he has reached an agreement with another club.
Lukaku, who moved to Everton in 2014 after a season-long loan spell, has been linked with his former club Chelsea as well as Manchester United and Bayern Munich in recent weeks.
“My agent knows what’s going to happen and I know as well. I’m staying calm and we have an agreement with the club as well. We stay calm and at least we have a direction where we want to go,” the Belgium international, 24, told Sky Sports.
“I’m just going to rest for a few days and then just prepare for next season. I want to put the time in on my holiday to take everything to another level and be better than I was last year.”
Lukaku was Everton’s top scorer last season with 25 goals in 36 League appearances. He helped his team secure a seventh place finish but in March rejected a new contract to extend his stay.
Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, said last week that Everton would allow him to leave if “certain clubs” met the £100 million (R1.65bn) price tag placed on him by the Merseyside club.
Meanwhile, Southampton have reported Liverpool to the Premier League over an illegal approach for defender Virgil van Dijk. The development is the latest twist in a transfer saga involving the sought-after centre-back who has been linked with a £60 million move away from St Mary’s.
Although the 25-year-old has not commented publicly on his situation, reports said he had told Liverpool he wanted to join them ahead of rival suitors Chelsea and Manchester City, even though Southampton deny receiving any approach from the Reds.
Strict rules govern transfers, with clubs able to negotiate terms with players only if they are out of contract or once a fee has been agreed with the seller.
Southampton have consistently said they do not intend to sell Van Dijk, who joined from Celtic for £13 million in September 2015 and signed a new six-year contract in 2016.
The new deal was a reward for a series of impressive performances at the heart of Saints’ defence although he has not played since January after suffering ankle ligament damage.
The Dutchman has made a full recovery and, should he move north, would join Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne, who have joined Liverpool from Southampton in deals totalling more than £100 million in the past three years.
It has been reported that Liverpool view Van Dijk as a potential marquee signing and the club are prepared to offer Van Dijk wages of £180000 per week.
The transfer row is the second this year involving Liverpool, who received a two-year ban on signing Academy players from other English clubs after accepting they made an illegal approach for a 12-year-old attached to Stoke City.