Romelu Lukaku joins Everton: Striker admits he didn't talk to Jose Mourinho about move and 'didn't want to sit on bench for 10 years'
Lukaku completed a club-record £28m move to Everton on Wednesday night, having made 10 Chelsea appearances in three years
Thursday 31 July 2014
Everton's new record signing Romelu Lukaku admits he did not speak to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho about his departure from Stamford Bridge.
The Belgium international signed a five-year contract with the Toffees, with whom he had a successful loan spell last season scoring 16 goals in 33 appearances, after a £28million deal was agreed.
Lukaku, who played just 15 times in three years at Stamford Bridge, has not enjoyed the best of relationships with Mourinho after disagreements about his loan spell last summer and then where his future lay in the long-term.
But the 21-year-old striker insists he has no hard feelings towards his former club, even if he left having not been on speaking terms with the Portuguese.
"I spoke with my agent and then from that moment on I left it up to him as I was on holiday," he said about the move to Everton.
"I made my decision and then didn't speak too much about it."
Asked whether he had spoken to Mourinho at all immediately before his departure he added: "No - I think he was busy with the game (against Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday night).
"Chelsea is a big club and sometimes it is difficult for young players to come through. I want to have a good career and I didn't want to spend 10 years on the bench, I wanted to make the best out of every year.
"This is a club with a lot of ambition and the right place to be. You don't have to have regrets in football. Choices have to be made.
"Roberto Martinez will be one of the top managers in the world and for me to work under him now is the best thing that could happen for me."
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Mourinho believes the deal is good for all concerned, telling his post-match press conference in Holland: "He wanted to play for Chelsea but wanted to be the first-choice striker. That's very difficult to promise.
"Everton made an important offer and financial fair play is something that is always behind the thoughts of the board...this leaves Chelsea in a great position."
Martinez was a key figure in persuading Lukaku to return and the board to break the bank to secure him and Lukaku admits things were totally different during his loan spell compared to his experience at Stamford Bridge.
"I don't have hard feelings against Chelsea. They gave me the opportunity to come to England," he said.
"But last year was a very good year and after a short period of time I had the feeling it was the best place to grow as a young footballer.
"The manager has been very influential. He is someone who knows football, someone who I can develop under as a player and make us better as a team - and that is something I need as a young footballer.
"I needed to be in the place where it felt right and here I have the confidence of all the technical staff, the trust of the supporters as well and I can grow and develop.
"I have a very good relationship with the players and staff so for me this is the place where I belong."
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper Martinez said they had worked long and hard to get the deal together but it was more than worth it.
"It is not just one of those important days for the season but it is a very significant day in the history of our football club," he said.
"It is fair to say Romelu was our number one target to bring in and the pursuit was relentless but it had to be a record transfer and it is worth every single penny and effort we put behind it."
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