Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists he has no plans to sell Romelu Lukaku, saying the striker should stay at the club for at least another season.
Lukaku, 23, is out of contract in mid-2019 and it appears unlikely the Belgium international will extend his deal.
But Koeman wants to keep the Premier League’s top goalscorer at Goodison Park, at least for one more campaign.
“I would keep him for next season at least,” he told the Mirror.
Koeman and Lukaku have helped Everton into seventh in the table, but they still sit six points off fourth.
The Dutchman arrived at the club on a three-year deal in June 2016, but he too is unwilling to re-sign just yet.
“It is too soon, in my opinion,” Koeman said.
“I don’t understand football clubs when they have a manager in and they sign a contract for three years and after six months there is talk of a new contract.”
Everton visit Anfield for the Merseyside derby in the Premier League on Saturday.