Everton: Koeman on Lukaku; defensive target requests move; no interest in Manchester City striker
There is fresh news on the Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea transfer front, with Ronald Koeman yesterday admitting that the Belgian international’s future is not in his hands.
Speaking in a press conference yesterday, the Everton boss stated that he would like to keep the 23-year-old but could not guarantee that Lukaku will still be at Goodison Park when the transfer window closes later this month, “He is still an Everton player but finally the board makes those kind of decisions,” Koeman said. “Of course, I would like to keep all my best players but I know football. I know business. Let’s wait.”
The Evening Standard reported earlier this week that the forward is desperate to make a return to Chelsea, the club he left to join Everton in 2014, and that he is even willing to force through a move to Stamford Bridge if needs be. The report also claims that the Toffees currently value Lukaku at around £75 million but Chelsea are not willing to stump up such a fee for a player they sold for £28 million. However, if the Blues were to swallow their pride and meet the price tag then they would not be the first club this summer to admit they’d screwed up by selling a player that was formerly on their books.
If Everton do opt to cash in before the end of the summer then Koeman will be tasked with finding a replacement for the club’s top scorer from last season. One man he is not interested in, according to the Liverpool Echo, is Manchester City flop Wilfried Bony. The Toffees were apparently offered the 27-year-old as a makeweight in the deal that saw John Stones head to the Etihad Stadium for £47.5 million earlier this week, and although the report asserts that the Everton boss is in the market for a new centre-forward, the Ivory Coast international is not one of those that he is targeting.
This may come as a surprise to many supporters who had seen Bony regularly linked with a move to Goodison this summer. The player has been much-maligned during his time in Manchester, but his goalscoring record whilst at Swansea City shows that he is more than capable of scoring goals in the Premier League if given the chance. Whilst he may not be up to the standard that City require from their forwards, he would certainly be a good replacement/cover for Lukaku if Koeman decided to chase his signature.
Finally, Bony’s international teammate, Lamine Kone’s proposed move to Everton looks like it could become a reality after the defender told Sunderland boss David Moyes that he would like to leave the Stadium of Light this summer. The 27-year-old claims that his decision is based on the fact that the club have failed to offer him a new contract after he helped them to achieve Premier League safety last campaign.
Kone only joined the Black Cats in January but his performances seem to have impressed both Koeman and new director of football Steve Walsh who are reportedly keen on signing the player as part of a defensive overhaul. An £18 million bid was apparently made this week, and a deal could happen sooner than originally thought after the player’s latest comments.
The Parisian centre-back is likely to be seen as a replacement for John Stonesand would compete for a spot in the Toffees side with new signing Ashley Williams, as well as Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori.
Featured image: all rights reserved by Laszlo Szirtesi