Romelu Lukaku has stated he will not renew his current contract at Everton
The Belgian striker’s contract expires in the summer of 2019
Lukaku is the current Premier League top scorer with 24 goals
Manchester United and Chelsea lead race to sign the 23-year-old
Everton will try to deter suitors for Romelu Lukaku by demanding a world record £100million for the striker.
The ambitious Goodison Park club have no desire to sell the in-form Belgian who has two years left on his contract but he has made it clear he wants to play for a Champions League club.
Lukaku will not sign a new contract though Everton are still looking to convince him of their own ambitions by recruiting aggressively this summer to build a squad capable of competing at the top of the Premier League and in Europe.
Manchester United and Chelsea are among the frontrunners for Lukaku who has scored 24 goals this season but they will both think twice at paying such a fee.
Everton risk inflaming the issue with their star player by making his valuation such an obstacle yet they can justifiably point to contributing factors such as his contract, the fact they were willing to offer him a new one at £150,000 a week, plus the dearth of top strikers in Europe.
They have begun to make contingency plans by identifying potential targets across Europe, such as Willian Jose at Real Sociedad, but, as yet, have still to commit to buying.
United and Chelsea would both expect Lukaku’s fee to drop in any negotiations and would hope the player would push for a move. They also have the potential to add makeweights to any deal.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has been key to Lukaku’s continued improvement and doesn’t want the club to sell this summer.
Talks will also continue over Ross Barkley’s future with the midfielder understood to be leaning towards a departure as Tottenham maintain a keen interest in his pending contract negotiations.