Romelu Lukaku’s Everton exit appears to have moved a step closer after he admitted that he has already decided where he will ply his trade next term.
The Toffees talisman spoke to members of the press after Belgium’s 2-1 friendly win over the Czech Republic on Monday (via BBC Sport) and claimed that he was already in talks with the team he wanted to join in the summer transfer window.
Premier League champions Chelsea and Europa League winners Manchester United, as well as German giants Bayern Munich, have all been heavily linked with moves for Lukaku, but the striker refused to name which club he would be joining when pressed on who he had chosen.
He said: “I don’t want to stay at the same level. I want to improve and I know where I want to do that.
“We are now talking to the club. I know what’s happening, but I will leave the talks to my agent. I know what’s happening, but I can’t tell you anything more.
“What I would like most is to play in the Champions League and try to win the Premier League once. Or better – a few times.”
Lukaku turned down a club-record contract offer from Everton in March – believed to be worth £100,000-a-week – and is all but certain to leave Goodison Park despite manager Ronald Koeman insisting that the 24-year-old would not be sold.
The ex-Anderlecht wonderkid netted 26 goals in all competitions for the Blues last term, but his three-year spell on Merseyside is looking much more likely to be over after his recent comments to the media.
Lukaku was quizzed on whether the relationship that Mino Raiola – Lukaku’s agent – has with both Manchester United and their manager Jose Mourinho would make them red hot favourites to sign him ahead of their rivals.
The Belgium international added that, as the player who would be turning out for whichever club he signed for, he would have the final say on his future before walking off as the press pressed him on links with re-joininig Chelsea.
He said: “I’m the player. I will take the decisions.”
Read more from Tom Power by following him on Twitter!