Everton move to keep loan stars Lukaku and Barry

Sky Sports have reported that Everton are in talks to retain the services of Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry following successful loan spells in 2013/14.

Belgian striker Lukaku is currently contracted to Chelsea, although is reported to be attracting attention from a number of clubs, notably including Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.

He has found opportunities hard to come by since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2011, but scored 15 Premier League goals in 31 appearances on loan at Everton last season, helping them to a fifth-place finish.

Toffees’ chairman Bill Kenwright spoke in glowing terms about the impact Lukaku had had both on and off the pitch at Goodison park, and expressed his strong desire to keep the young Antwerpian. “We would love to have him back and people at Chelsea are good friends of mine so we are hopeful,” said Kenwright.

The 21-year-old is currently in Brazil for the World Cup with his national team, so any deal may have to wait until the completion of the Red Devils’ campaign.

Midfielder Gareth Barry meanwhile is now a free agent following the expiry of his contract at Manchester City. The 33-year-old Englishman is said to have been offered a two-year contract to join Everton permanently after making 32 Premier League appearances for the club last term, and chairman Kenwright is hopeful that he will agree to the deal.

“Gareth Barry had a great season for us,” said Kenwright. “I know the manager has spoken to him and I will meet with his people and we are hopeful that he will be there next season.”

However, talkSPORT have reported that a rival offer could be made by Arsenal. Barry will decide his future when he returns from holiday by the end of this month.

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