Farhad Moshiri: ‘Voodoo ruined new Everton deal for Romelu Lukaku’
Everton’s majority shareholder has claimed that Romelu Lukaku refused to sign a new deal after a voodoo message told him to rejoin Chelsea. Farhad Moshiri revealed that Lukaku attended a meeting with his agent, Mino Raiola, to sign a £140,000-a-week deal on March 14 last year only to stun Everton with his reason for aborting the talks at the last minute.
“We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract,” said Moshiri, at the club’s general meeting last night. “Then, in the meeting, Rom called his mother. He said he was on a pilgrimage in Africa, or somewhere. He told her he had had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea.”
The inference was Lukaku’s mother, Adolphine, encouraged him to take the advice he had received from the voodoo.
Chelsea had led the chase for Lukaku last summer, but he opted against returning to his former club and signed for Manchester United instead.
Moshiri went on to say the striker’s “brain had gone” and that he refused to return from a holiday in Los Angeles as he demanded a transfer to Old Trafford for which Everton will eventually receive £90 million.
However, Moshiri said the club lost out financially with the deal having been sealed before Neymar’s £198 million defection from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain as he laid bare his frustrations with that, and seeing Ross Barkley leave for Chelsea for £15 million last week.
“The issue with Romelu was not financial,” Moshiri said. “As long as I am major shareholder financial issues are irrelevant. Ross Barkley was a football decision.
“With Romelu, I wasted two summers trying to keep him. The first summer I spent three months with his agent, him, his mother and his family and we managed to keep him for another year.
“Then, last summer, we offered him a better deal than Chelsea. Whatever they offered we matched but he just didn’t want to stay. He wanted to play for Chelsea at that time.
“Agents are very powerful, they manipulate and control players and there is no accountability. Nothing is set in rules on fees so the financial incentive to move players from one club to another is immense for agents.
“These are young boys who start with an agent and the agent becomes a parent and they dominate their brain and whatever they do. Bill [Kenwright, Everton chairman] is like a father to a lot of them. If Ross had a problem then Bill dealt with it but it’s the agent they rely on.
“I didn’t spend as much time to keep Ross as I did Rom but I can assure you we tried everything to keep Rom. If I tell you what we offered him you wouldn’t believe it.
“I got close to Rom, I like the boy, he’s a good boy, and I used all my charm to keep him and I flatly failed. This is unfortunately the world.
“Ultimately, we lost money. To buy Rom now would be £120 million. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in LA and he wouldn’t come back. It happens. [Sir] Alex Ferguson got another year out of [Cristiano] Ronaldo but then he was off. [Luis] Suárez had to bite a few players to get off.”
Moshiri also outlined the lengths Everton went to try and persuade Barkley to sign a new contract. Barkley’s move to Chelsea came when he had just six months left on his contract and with his boyhood club seeking to maximise the fee they received for him.
The player had backed out of a £35 million deal to join the champions last August due to injury and Moshiri said: “The most painful was Ross. I said last year  we had three stars – [John] Stones, Ross and Romelu – and we’ve lost the three of them.
“Ross was a local boy, we thought we wouldn’t lose him. Bill was confident. The agent was close to the club and at two years [left on the deal] we met the agent and said he needed to extend his contract.
“The agent said if we got Ronald Koeman as manager he [Barkley] would sign. Then he said if we let Stones go, because Stones was his friend, that he [Barkley] would sign. We let Stones go.
“Then for six months we couldn’t get hold of the agent. Then he’s into his last year. We took a huge risk. Bill miraculously got an offer of £35 million for a player who was injured. Neither me, nor Bill, wanted him to go. He changed his mind.
“Sam [Allardyce] spoke to him. He didn’t want to stay. We live in a different world, that’s why we are focused on signing players who want to wear our shirt.”https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/farh ... -jw826xw6c