“I won’t make a fight with them. Everything happens for a reason. I don’t speak to the English press, why should I talk now then?” he asks at first, reluctantly. After a bit of convincing, Lukaku talks about his turbulent transfer summer.
Everton sold Stones for a lot of money, but you had to stay. How did you experience the summer?
“Err…different (laughing). I knew a few clubs were interested, but it was clear very fast that Everton didn’t want to let me go. The most important thing for me was to stay calm and that’s what I did. I didn’t want any conflict so I told myself: I’ll do my best and see what happens in the future.”
Everton wants to give you a much better contract. Are you going to sign that?
“You have to ask that to Mino” (Raiola, his agent)
You can’t decide that yourself?
“Of course, but I tell Mino how I feel about it and then we make a decision that’s best for me. Football isn’t about money, I want trophies. But if I would be in a situation that I want to leave but the club doesn’t let me go, then I’m not the kind of guy to skip training, getting fines or using a negative attitude. I try to stay calm and treat the club with respect. I hope they also treat me with respect and I can leave through the big gate”
(Leaving through the big gate is a saying in dutch, it’s about leaving through the front door instead of leaving with the tail between the legs)
Everton isn’t playing european football for the second year in a row. Isn’t that painful for an ambitious guy like yourself?
“Yeah of course. But everything happens for a reason. Instead I would’ve joined Juventus instead of Everton. I chose Everton because I didn’t feel I was ready for Italy. I think I did a good job at Everton. Now we have a different trainer and it’s different than under Mr Martinez. I think I can also make steps forward under Koeman. Maybe that’ll be the last step and then I’ll be able to look further”