Martinez: Lukaku’s Chelsea-Everton future decided after World Cup

Everton manager Roberto Martinez doesn’t expect to know the status of Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, until after the World Cup, ESPN has reported.

Lukaku has spent the season under Martinez at Goodison Park and the Spaniard has confirmed he would like to sign Lukaku on a full-time basis. Asked if he was concerned that a good World Cup showing for the Belgium international would raise his price tag, Martinez argued that it would be a positive instead.

“I don’t think that’s my worry. The worry would be that if the deal was a cheap one, it would be because he has had a torrid time and hasn’t fulfilled his potential,” Martinez said.

“The reason Romelu came to Everton was for him to take a big role, take a lot of responsibility, to start playing 90 minutes and be a real brain in that forward line. He has done that so we couldn’t be happier.

“The parent club, Chelsea, are delighted with his progress and the player has developed an incredible relationship with our fans. His memories will never evaporate, but we will see what’s next.”

Martinez added that there is so much to be determined regarding Lukaku that getting the transfer completed before the start of the World Cup would be impossible.

“We’ll see what’s the best thing for everyone. But everything will be in stages: how Chelsea are doing in their own squad and how that frees some players,” Martinez continued. “It’s going to take a bit of time and I don’t think Romelu’s situation is going to be resolved before the World Cup, in truth. It will be after the World Cup.

“We are too close to Romelu to hope he has a poor tournament. We hope he has a really, really good World Cup – and then decides to come to us.”

Lukaku has scored 14 goals in 30 appearances for Everton, helping Martinez’s team to a fifth-place finish this season. The 20-year-old has made only 15 appearances for Chelsea, having been sent on loan to West Bromwich Albion last season.

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