Striker chose to stay at Everton
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed he rejected the chance to go to Juventus this summer in favour of staying at Goodison Park.
The Belgian initially asked to leave at the end of the season, but was still on Merseyside when the window closed despite links to former-club Chelsea.
Speaking to Belgian newspaper about the Juventus link, Het Nieuwsblad, Lukaku said it was not the right time to move to the defending Serie A champions.
“It stings a little [not being in European competition], but I’m someone who believes that everything happens for a reason,” the 23-year-old said.
“Otherwise I would have gone to Juventus instead of staying at Everton. But I opted for Everton because it was too early for Italy and I have not done badly here.”
Ronald Koeman replaced Roberto Martinez as Everton manager in June and made it clear keeping Lukaku was important for the club’s prospects this season.
Lukaku said Everton’s determination not to sell made a transfer difficult but still refused to commit his long-term future to the club.
He added: “Now we have a new coach and it is completely different than with Mr Martinez, but I think we can make progress under Ronald Koeman. It may be the last step and then look further.
“I knew of the interest of a few clubs, it was quickly very clear that Everton would not let me go. It was important to me that I remained calm, and I did.
“I said to myself that I will do my best, and who knows what will happen in the future.”
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10