Romelu Lukaku’s agent has held talks over a potential transfer to Tottenham Hotspur but Everton remain in contention for the Chelsea striker's signature.
Lukaku has spent the campaign on loan at Goodison Park and had said in November that he would consider a permanent transfer if Everton qualified for the Champions League, which now appears a realistic prospect.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez confirmed in January that he was interested in signing Lukaku on a permanent deal, and sources have told ESPN FC that this remains the case, but the club are not prepared to sign him at any price, and a fee of 25 million pounds is likely to be beyond their budget.
The Daily Telegraph reported last week that Tottenham, however, would be willing to meet that valuation, and the 20-year-old’s agent, Christophe Henrotay, has now confirmed to the Belgian media that talks over a move to White Hart Lane have taken place, although he played down the prospect of an imminent deal.
“Yes, I am looking out for a club for Romelu and, yes, I did talk to [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy, but that doesn't mean he'll be going to Tottenham,” Henrotay is quoted as saying in De Standaard. “That is not on the table right now."
Talks over a move to Everton will have to wait until the club know which, if any, European competition they are playing in next season. They currently lie fifth in the Premier League, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand.
Everton face the Gunners at Goodison Park on Sunday, and victory would significantly increase their chances of claiming a top-four finish and qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Henrotay added: “Of course there aren't 20 candidates for Romelu's signature. He won't go from Everton to -- say -- Swansea. There is also a difference between an Everton playing in Europe and an Everton fighting relegation.”
Lukaku said in February that he was determined to succeed at Chelsea but, although Blues manager Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his lack of faith in the strikers currently at his disposal, he has been publicly critical of the Belgium international and appears to be willing to cash in.