Romelu Lukaku is one of the most sought after strikers in Europe at the moment and he is set to start a bidding war, after the striker rejected Everton's latest contract offer in search of Champions League football. Everton offered Lukaku a five year deal worth £140,000 a week that would see him become their highest earner, but the Belgian has made it clear that he does not want to extend his stay at Goodison Park.
The Everton fans will be heartbroken to hear this news as they had hoped Lukaku would help them push on for a spot in Europe. Mino Raiola, who is Lukaku's agent, had previously said that his client was 99.9 per cent" certain of extending his stay at Everton, but the Belgium international informed Everton officials of his decision after a training session this week.
Lukaku has stated for a long time that he wants to play in the Champions League and he certainly has what it takes to play for a top club. Despite having two years left on his current contract, Lukaku is expected to push for a move in the summer and a lot of top clubs are expected to bid for him.
Chelsea, who sold Lukaku to Everton in 2014, are the frontrunners to sign him and they also made an inquiry about re-signing the 23-year-old before the start of the current season. Lukaku also mentioned earlier that he had unfinished business at Chelsea hinting that a possible return was on the cards.
With Antonio Conte still not impressed by Michy Batshuayi and with Diego Costa's contract situation at the club still not sorted out after he reportedly received a mega money offer from China, Lukaku would be the ideal striker to take over at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United are another club keen to sign Lukaku. Antoine Griezmann is thought to be Manchester United's top target for the summer transfer window, but the Frenchman said recently that he was happy at Atletico Madrid. Also, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at the club still unclear, Manchester United will need a striker, particularly one who can lead the line as a proper No.9.
However, with Manchester United struggling to break into the top four and with the possibility of them missing out on Champions League football next season, Lukaku could snub them.
Lukaku is currently the joint top scorer in the Premier League with 19 goals alongside Harry Kane, and if Everton were to sell him in the summer they would demand in excess of £60 million.
Despite this news, an Everton said they are still hopeful of a contract being agreed upon. "A deal is on the table and there is plenty of time. There is hope all round that it will be signed," The Guardian quoted an Everton spokesman as saying.