Everton owner Farhad Moshiri gave a bizarre account of why the star forward ultimately left Merseyside.

By 90Min
January 10, 2018

Romelu Lukaku's 'brain had gone' as he looked for a transfer away from Everton over the course of two seasons.

That is according to the Toffees' majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, who gave a frank account of just how hard he tried to convince the former Blues goalscorer to remain at Goodison Park.

Speaking during the club's Annual General Meeting at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall on Tuesday evening (h/t the Liverpool Echo), Moshiri was quizzed on the ins and outs of Lukaku's eventual £75m departure to Manchester United last summer.

And, bizarrely, the Iranian-British businessman recounted a story that has left many Evertonians either utterly baffled or in fits of laughter over just how Lukaku - who had originally wanted to join Chelsea - came to the decision to leave Merseyside.

Moshiri said: “For Romelu I assure you I did whatever was humanly possible. If I tell you what we offered him you won't believe what we did and we then offered him a better deal.

“With his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract, Robert Elstone was there, everything was in place and a few reporters were outside.

“Then, somehow, during the meeting they said he called his mother and said he was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got this message that he needs to go to Chelsea.

“To buy Rom now would be £120million. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in LA and he wouldn't come back."

Some had believed that Lukaku's switch to United was merely down to the amount of wages that Everton were willing to pay him - the Belgium international having rejected a huge salary hike if he penned a contract extension last March.

Moshiri, though, refuted those claims as he insisted that he had done all he could, financially wise, to retain Lukaku's services for a while longer.

He added: “The situation with Romelu was not financial. At Everton Football Club, so long as I'm the major shareholder, financial issues are irrelevant.

“I wasted two summers to keep him: first summer for three months with his agent, his mother and his family we managed to keep him for another year.

“Then last summer we offered him a better deal than Chelsea, whatever they offered we matched but he just didn't want to stay. He wanted to play for Chelsea at that time.”

In the end, however, we all know what happened next. Lukaku didn't join Chelsea, but made a £75m move to Manchester United after the Red Devils went into transfer beast mode, taking advantage of the striker's fast friendship with previous world record signing Paul Pogba. 

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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