Everton manager Ronald Koeman unhappy with Romelu Lukaku comments about club's ambition

Rhodri Cannon
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Everton manager Ronald Koeman is relaxed about the situation surrounding Romelu Lukaku's future and says the club's board are still trying to strike a deal with the Belgian forward.

Lukaku informed Everton earlier this week that he would not sign fresh terms at Goodison Park, despite suggestions that both club and player had agreed a new five-year deal worth £140,000-a-week. Koeman confirmed that there is currently no agreement over a new contract and voiced his unhappiness at Lukaku's comments in a recent interview, which questioned Everton's ambition.

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"The deal wasn't agreed, 99.9% is not 100%," Koeman said in his press conference. "They (the board) are still trying to get the contract over the line and that's why I know from the board of the club.

"Of course I'm not happy about that interview, because first if Everton is not a club with a lot of ambition, I wouldn't be the manager. The second is, and I spoke with Rom this morning, I know it's difficult but if you are a player, prepare yourself to play well, the rest needs to be done by the manager and the board."

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Lukaku has two years left on his current deal with Everton but has regularly discussed the possibility of leaving Merseyside during his stint with the club. Koeman has called on the former Chelsea forward to 'respect' his contract and seemed to threaten disciplinary action, though he sees no reason to drop the 23-year-old from his side to face Hull City on Saturday (18 March).

"I spoke with Rom about this project in the summer, during the season we had several talks about the future, but I'm not afraid about his situation as he has two years left on his contract. Everyone knows what can happen in football but you need to respect your contract." Koeman added.

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"He's training how he needs to train, his behaviour apart from some quotes, is what I like. There is no reason to put him out of the team. The team needs Rom, Rom needs the team."

Regarding disciplinary action, Koeman said: "First you speak with the player and I will speak with the board and then we will see what we need to do."

Romelu Lukaku

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