Romelu Lukaku claims his desire to play in the Champions League and Everton’s failure to attract top-class players has convinced him not to sign a new contract with the Premier League club.
Lukaku, who is the joint top-scorer in the Premier League with 19 goals, has told Everton he will not sign a new deal which would have made him the club’s first £100,000-plus-a-week player.
Everton are still hoping to convince their star to agree an extended deal, but the 23-year-old Belgian striker appears determined to force a transfer to a bigger club.
“To do that, you need the platform to show yourself,” he said when asked about his desire to be ranked along with the world’s best forward.
“Then you are talking about Champions League and whatever types of games. I don’t want to go into details on that but you just follow the path that is in front of you.
“But as a team you want to be the best. I want my team to be the best. The big aim in football is to win as many titles as you can, so we need to try more, give a bit more.
“Everton as a football club has a great history. But the future has to be written. You get me? Because we always talk about the teams of the 80s and 70s and if you look it was great. But we as players we want the fans talking about us instead of us talking about them.”
Everton splashed out on Morgan Schneiderlin and Yannick Bolasie earlier this season, but Lukaku believes there needs to be a bigger influx of top players.
“Instead of living in the past, you have to think ahead,” he added.
“How this club has to grow, how this club has to improve, which player does it want to bring in so you can challenge for the big trophies.
“Then like sometimes I will speak to Vincent Kompany who was at (Manchester) City when it all happened.
“He said, ‘Rom, one summer I just came in and boom, boom, boom, boom… Robinho from there, that guy came in, this guy came in, this guy came in.
“They had league titles, FA Cup, League Cups. That is what we want as players.”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman conceded he was unhappy with Lukaku’s comments, but he has no intention of dropping his star as punishment.
“Of course I am not happy about that interview. If Everton is not a club with a lot of ambition I would not be manager,” Koeman said.
“He is training how he needs to train, his behaviour – except some quotes in this interview – is what I like from the player and there is no reason to put him out of the team.
“The team needs Rom and Rom needs the team to score goals.
“But I am not so afraid about his situation because the player has more than two years on his contract.”