Man United’s summer signing wanted Chelsea move or contract extension until a call from his mother

Romelu Lukaku

Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has now revealed that striker Romelu Lukaku wanted to join Chelsea over Manchester United in the summer despite the fact that the Toffees were ready to give him the contract Chelsea were offering the Belgian.

Lukaku’s departure from Everton was made certain since the day he mentioned that he wants to play regular Champions League football; that was even before the summer transfer window. This coincided with Diego Costa having a feud with Antonio Conte, hence Chelsea were on the lookout for signing a perfect striker, and this is when Lukaku came into the frame. Having left Chelsea in the summer of 2013 to join Everton, a move back to the Bridge was on the cards but the last-minute entry of Manchester United spoiled the Blues’ party.

Primarily, we were chasing Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata but with Real playing hardball, we needed to act quick, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out until the turn of the year. Having seen a couple of bids getting rejected for the Spaniard, United checked on Lukaku’s availability and bang! United and Everton struck a £75m deal for the striker and Chelsea were left red-faced.

Chelsea eventually went for Alvaro Morata. The story, however, could have been completely different had Lukaku had not received a call from his mother while he was at Everton.

“With Romelu I wasted two summers trying to keep him,” the British-Iranian billionaire said at Everton’s AGM. “The first summer I spent three months with his agent, him, his mother and his family and we managed to keep him for another year.

Farhad Moshiri further revealed that they tried offering Romelu a better deal at Everton, but the striker had already made his mind over a move.

“Then, last summer, we offered him a better deal than Chelsea. Whatever they offered we matched but he just didn’t want to stay. He wanted to play for Chelsea at that time.

“I can assure you we tried everything to keep Rom. If I tell you what we offered him you wouldn’t believe it. We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract.

“Robert [Elstone, Everton’s chief executive] was there, everything was in place, there were a few reporters outside, then in the meeting Rom called his mother. He said she was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea.

Ultimately, Moshiri accepted that Lukaku won’t be an Everton player at any cost.

“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] Suárez had to bite a few players to get off.”

In my opinion, Lukaku is a better Premier League striker than Morata as his attributes satisfy the heavy demands of the English League. Maybe, it all happened for a good reason and I am quite happy we got the big Belgian.