Romelu Lukaku has told Ronald Koeman he will not sign a new contract at Everton, the Toffees boss said on Thursday.
The Belgium international sits atop the Premier League scoring charts with 23 goals this season and has been linked with a return to former club Chelsea.
Lukaku, 23, is under contract at Goodison Park until 2019, but Koeman revealed an extension beyond that looks unlikely.
“He told me he won’t sign a new contract,” Koeman told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Burnley.
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba backed Lukaku – who was on Thursday nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award – to prove himself by heading back to Stamford Bridge, adding that he knew what the Everton man’s future plans were without revealing them.
13 – Romelu Lukaku has scored 13 goals in 13 Premier League games for Everton in 2017. Flourishing. pic.twitter.com/2Sr8avAGLA
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 13, 2017
That came as news to Koeman, who responded to the comments – given in an interview to Sky Sports – by saying: “No [I don’t know where Lukaku wants to go]. Maybe I wait for the call from Drogba to tell me where he wants to go.”
Ross Barkley’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season and the midfielder has also been linked with a move to a Premier League rival.
Koeman hopes to match Barkley’s ambition by securing Champions League football in the near future and wants the situation sorted by the end of the campaign.
He said: “I’m not involved [in the negotiations], but I know that the board is talking to his agent. We need to know the answer before the end of the season.
“We will offer him the contract that is good, that is normal for the player. I think with how he is improving this season, Everton is the best place for him.
“I spoke to Ross several weeks ago and he mentioned his ambition is the Champions League and I told him I have the same ambition and I think we are going in the right direction.
“Everybody has seen the difference between this season and last – the club is going in the right direction.”