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Koeman admits he is planning for life without Lukaku next season

Date Posted,April 19, 2017

Ronald Koeman has warned the European giants slugging it out for Romelu Lukaku that £100million may not buy him.

And as Everton prepare to take on West Ham tomorrow, Lukaku’s incredible record against the Hammers is clear evidence of Koeman’s desire to hold on to his star striker.

The Belgian has scored in nine consecutive games against the Hammers, the best record against a single club by far.

The Everton boss accepts his Golden Boot contender will inspire massive interest in the summer from the moneybags clubs who “of course would like to have a goalscorer in the team”, and he even confessed to planning for next season without the striker.

Koeman wants to keep Lukaku at Goodison (Photo: Liverpool Echo)

But after Lukaku was named in the Premier League team of the year and short-listed for player of the season – and with the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United all thought to be interested – Koeman insisted he has no interest in the money such interest will generate.

When asked about the staggering figures clubs will pay for Lukaku, he replied: “I am not involved in that business. He has a two year contract.

“If somebody is interested (in him) for sure they will call the board and speak about it, but we like to keep him at Everton for next season.

“He knows, he knows, I had several conversations about how in my opinion this is the best place for him. He is working hard, he is improving and with 23 goals with five games to go, he can reach a really high total.”

Lukaku is the Premier League’s leading goalscorer (Photo: Getty)

Koeman though, is adamant that the interest surrounding his Premier League leading scorer will not derail Everton, and he revealed he is already planning for life without Lukaku…and star midfielder Ross Barkley too.

Asked if the doubts over the pair’s future was destabilising his transfer plans, he said: “That’s if something happens for next season.

“We need to be prepared for if they stay and if they don’t stay. It is sometimes difficult (not knowing). We are still in this season and still playing for this season. What happens for next season we will see. We are too focused on next season and not enough on this season.”

Koeman is backing Lukaku to score againsst the Hammers… again (Photo: Reuters)

And Koeman believes Everton can use their centre forward’s fondness for scoring against Saturday’s opponents and put massive pressure on Arsenal and Manchester United above them in the table.

The Dutch boss says both teams may have a bigger name that his club…but he took a sideways swipe at them both by suggesting they don’t play like it!

“It’s ok if people talk about Arsenal and Man United – the name is a bigger one but not how they play,” he said.

“We are showing that you can give good competition to the strong teams, the big teams, when they are not having a fantastic season. It’s incredible that we have the same points now as Manchester United and Arsenal but that’s football.

“It’s not about money. It’s about players, the team, organisation, about spirit, about belief.”

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