Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring Manchester United's second goal against Derby County in the FA Cup. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring Manchester United's second goal against Derby County in the FA Cup. Photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
Everton manager Sam Allardyce watches from the stands with major shareholder Farhad Moshiri (right). Photo: Peter Byrne / PA
Everton manager Sam Allardyce watches from the stands with major shareholder Farhad Moshiri (right). Photo: Peter Byrne / PA

LONDON - Romelu Lukaku is considering taking legal action as he hit back at Everton owner Farhad Moshiri’s extra-ordinary comments over his departure from Goodison Park. 

Moshiri claimed at the club’s annual meeting with shareholders on Tuesday that a "voodoo message" told Lukaku to reject a £140,000-a-week contract and join Chelsea last summer. 

The striker, who rejected that account out of hand, eventually sealed a £75million switch to Manchester United. 

Lukaku is thought to have been hurt by Moshiri, who rarely speaks in public.

"We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract," Moshiri said. 

"Then, somehow, during the meeting they said he called his mother and said he’d been on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got this message that he needs to go to Chelsea."

Lukaku has always maintained his desire to leave Goodison Park was not down to money and is seeking legal advice about Moshiri’s side of events. 

That emerged via an explosive statement released on Wednesday by a spokesperson for the player.  

"Romelu’s decision had nothing to do with voodoo. He distances himself from these beliefs and this statement," it read. "He will now see what judicial steps can be taken in relation to them. Romelu is very Catholic and voodoo is not part of his life or his beliefs.

"He simply had no faith in Everton and no confidence in Mr Moshiri’s project. That is why he did not want to sign on any condition. He wanted to make the next step in his career and wanted the security to be able to leave."

Lukaku was "99.99 per cent" certain to sign a fresh contract at Everton, according to his agent Mino Raiola, until his circumstances changed. 

The Belgium international has since scored 16 goals for United this season and Moshiri is adamant Everton could not have done anything else to keep him on Merseyside. 

"The issue with Romelu was not financial," he said. "As long as I am major shareholder financial issues are irrelevant. 

"I wasted two summers to keep him. The first summer with his agent, him and his family we managed to keep him.

"I got close to Rom, I like the boy, he’s a good boy, and I used all my charm to keep him and I flatly failed. 

"This is unfortunately the world. Ultimately we lost money. To buy Rom now would be £120m. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in LA and he wouldn’t come back. 

"It happens. Alex Ferguson got another year out of Cristiano Ronaldo but then he was off. Luis Suarez had to bite a few players to get off."

Lukaku is due back in Manchester on Friday after a warm-weather training camp in Dubai. United flew out on Monday for the five-day break ahead of Monday’s clash against Premier League strugglers Stoke City. 

Manager Jose Mourinho has afforded his squad lie-ins until late morning while away before reporting for training at around 2pm and morale in the camp is said to be "very high". 

Some of his stars, including Phil Jones, have taken to playing floodlit golf in their spare time as United look to recharge their batteries before a run of games which includes an important visit to Tottenham in the league and the Champions League knockout clashes with Sevilla.

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