Ronald Koeman insists Romelu Lukaku must honour the remaining two years of his Everton contract, despite the striker’s unwillingness to sign a new deal.
Lukaku publicly confirmed this week that he will reject the offer of a new five-year contract at Goodison Park after questioning Everton’s ambitions to qualify for the Champions League.
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Everton have not yet given up in their quest to tie Lukaku down to a contract rumoured to be worth around £140,000 a week, but with another two years left on his current deal, manager Koeman says the Belgian international’s commitment shouldn’t be in question.
"Everyone knows what can happen in football but you need to respect your contract," said Koeman.
"Of course I am not happy about that interview. If Everton is not a club with a lot of ambition I would not be manager.
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"He has no problem. He is training how he needs to train, his behaviour – except some quotes in this interview – is what I like from the player and there is no reason to put him out of the team.
"The team needs Rom, and Rom needs the team to score goals.
"But I am not so afraid about his situation because the player has more than two years on his contract."