Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken of his desire to bring back Romelu Lukaku to Goodison Park, following the Chelsea striker’s season-long loan in 2013-14.
Lukuka scored 16 goals in 33 games during his Everton stint to help the club to a fifth-place Premier League finish, and Martinez admits he would love to have the Belgian international back for the upcoming campaign.
‘Rom fits in really, really well at Goodison,’ he told talkSPORT. ‘We created a fantastic bond with the player, and the player with the fans, and that is something that we would love to extend.
‘It is difficult to say because he is not our player and I would never be disrespectful in that respect. He enjoyed his time at Everton, he developed as a footballer and we hope the parent club, Chelsea, were very happy with that loan relationship.
‘Whatever happens in the future, at the moment there is not much we can speak about.’
With Lukaku’s future at Chelsea up in the air, following the £35 million deal for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, the promising frontman has seen his name linked to a host of big clubs in recent weeks, casting doubt over whether Everton will have the spending-power to compete for his signature.
The Toffees have also seen fellow 2013-14 loanee Gerard Deulofeu return to Barcelona this summer, but the permanent signing of Manchester City’s Gareth Barry this month is a move which Martinez believes will prove a massive coup for the side.
‘The main priority was to have continuity in what we did last season,’ he said. ‘We have had a few players signing extensions and we got Gareth Barry becoming a permanent signing, which was huge for us.
‘In the next couple of days we will have a few players coming in because it was important for me to assess the youngsters.’
One of the those additions reported to be arriving soon is Bosnia and Herzegovina international Muhamed Besic, who, after impressing for his side at the World Cup in Brazil, looks set for a £4 million move from Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros.
At 21, the ex-Hamburg midfielder is yet another young piece to add to Martinez’s collection, though the former Wigan boss has also stressed the need to bring in three or four more experienced heads, in preparation for a campaign in which the squad will be fighting on all fronts.
‘The youngsters have done terrific and are showing the good work we are doing in the academy at Finch Farm but there are areas that need to be strengthened and, over the next few days, we are going to get the three, four players we need just to finalise the squad facing the huge demands with European football ahead of us.’