Ronald Koeman has confirmed that striker Romelu Lukaku is staying at Everton – and is set to be offered a new contract.
Speaking after the Toffees 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion, the Dutchman disclosed that the Chelsea target and gone into his office on Friday to say he would be remaining at the club and added that a new contract would not be far away.
Lukaku changed the game at The Hawthorns, coming off the bench to trigger an Everton revival with his team a goal down.
And after being linked with a move away from the club all summer the 23-year-old, last season’s top scorer, is now going nowhere.
‘That’s true,’ Koeman said when asked if a meeting had taken place. ‘He spoke to me yesterday morning and told me that he made the decision himself to stay at least one more season at Everton. That was great news for everybody.’
On the subject of a new contract for Lukaku, Koeman added: ‘That’s possible.’
Koeman was delighted with his side’s victory, secured by goals from Kevin Mirallas and Gareth Barry following Gareth McAuley’s opener.
‘We played well but it was still difficult,’ he said. ‘It’s always difficult to come to this place. When they scored its even more difficult to create. I think 1-1 close to half-time is a key moment in the game. A different situation for us in the dressing room and for them. The second half was really good. Good football. The subs had a big impact but we forgot to kill the game. I think it was a well-deserved win.
Koeman also introduced £25m new boy Yannick Bolasie off the bench and the winger impressed in a half-hour cameo in which he created two clear cut chances.
He’s a player with a lot pf physical qualities,’ he said. ‘His work rate is incredible. I’m really happy because that’s why we signed this player. I’m very pleased that on his debut for Everton he is showing those qualities.’
West Brom manager Tony Pulis saluted his side’s work rate but admitted they needed new players before the end of the window.
‘I thought we were the better team first half,’ he said. ‘They score in 46th minute which was really a disappointment, a real kick for us. They brought Lukaku on, then Bolasie and they were better team but the lads worked hard.
‘We’ve got 10 days to bring some players in so well see.’