Everton are hopeful Romelu Lukaku will sign a new long-term deal at the club after Ronald Koeman confirmed the player is in talks with the Merseyside club regarding a new contract.
Lukaku's current contract expires in July 2019 and, if reports are to be believed, the 23-year-old would become the first Everton player in the club's history to earn more than £100,000 a week.
Lukaku's agent says new contract is '99.9 per cent done'
Lukaku's agent Mino Raiola told talkSPORT this week that a new contract for his client is "99.9 per cent" done and he is "very hopeful" that a deal will be agreed in the coming weeks as "it is just a question of putting the details on the paper."
The Belgian joined the Toffees from Chelsea for a club-record fee of £28million in 2014 and has scored 70 goals in 142 appearances. Last season, he became the first Everton player since Gary Lineker to score 25 league goals in a single campaign.
His form attracted interest from a number of clubs, but Lukaku decided to remain on Merseyside for at least another season. However, even if a new contract is signed, Mino Raiola said it would not prevent Lukaku leaving at the end of the season.
"If Romelu is good enough, strong enough, to move in the next year then we will talk to Everton about it," Raiola said. However, Lukaku's agent said their only objective is for Lukaku "to perform as well as possible for Everton" and "then we will see in the summer what happens and how the situation is."
Koeman confirms Everton in talks with Lukaku over a new contract
Ronald Koeman confirmed that Everton are in talks with Romelu Lukaku in his pre-match press conference for his side's Boxing Day fixture at Leicester City. He said that if a new deal is done then that would be "good news" for the club, but the Blues boss admitted that a new contract does not guarantee Lukaku's long-term future at the club.
The Dutchman said that players sign new contracts but that doesn't mean "they will stay until the end of the contract. That's football, that's business." Koeman did say that it would represent a "big deal" for Everton and the club does "everything" to keep their best players at the club.
Koeman said Lukaku is a "big part of the Everton future" and, although "you don't know in football what can happen in one year," he said "at least there is an understanding and the boy likes to stay."
A new contract would be a sign of intent
Deep down everyone connected to Everton will know that the day will come when Lukaku will leave the club; there will only be a few Everton supporters, who in their hearts, believe Lukuku will remain at Goodison for the rest of his career.
And, although a new contract will certainly not guarantee Lukaku's long-term future at Goodison Park, it will certainly represent a sign of intent from Everton. Many Everton supporters expected Lukaku to leave in the summer after the player stated his desire to play Champions League football earlier this year. But Ronald Koeman and Farhad Moshiri were able to persuade Lukaku to stay at the club for another season and signing a new contract would certainly highlight the ambition of the club.
At the very least, a new contract will ensure Everton can demand a fee in excess of £80m should Champions League clubs come calling for their top scorer next summer.