Date published: Friday 30th June 2017 12:30

Former Arsenal striker Paul Mariner claims to have a friend who works for Everton, who has confirmed that the club have received two bids for Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku is expected to leave Everton by many this summer, with the striker having ended this past season with 24 goals in the Premier League.

Chelsea have been credited with an interest in the Belgian, but Mariner claims that Manchester United have also lodged a bid for the forward.

Mariner claims to be friends with “the sporting director” at Goodison Park, who has told him about the deal.

“My mate is now the sporting director at Everton,” he told ESPN. “I had a good chat with him and they’re going to spend a lot of money this summer.

“They feel as if it’s time they broke into that top four, it’s a big ask but that’s what Ronald Koeman and the staff want to do.

“They’ve had bids for Lukaku, mainly from Manchester United and Chelsea. It’s a lot of money, I personally wouldn’t be paying that sort of money.

“They think they can hold out for it but they’ve already added to the squad.

“It’s going to be very, very interesting to see if they improve and I think they will improve.”

Everton do not employ a member of staff with the title of ‘sporting director’. He might mean director of football Steve Walsh. We have no idea. But he’s obviously trustworthy.