The agent of Everton F.C. striker Romelu Lukaku, Mino Raiola, has claimed his client is better than Chelsea’s Diego Costa, while casting doubt over the future of the Belgium international.
Lukaku, 21, left Chelsea for Everton in a deal worth £28 million after a fantastic season-long loan at Goodison Park last season.
The 21-year-old started slowly in 2014/15, but has returned to top form in recent weeks, having bagged eight goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions.
Perhaps in an attempt to needle Everton, Raiola, who represents the likes of Mario Balotelli, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, told Belgian newspaper Sudpresse Lukaku will play for “one of world’s best teams” in the future.
“If we had met each other earlier, he wouldn’t have played for Everton,” the Italian said.
“Maybe somewhere else, maybe he would still be at Chelsea.
“I want to be clear: Romelu is a better striker than Diego Costa and could have done the same as the Spaniard did this season.
“But the Chelsea directors had decided to buy another star than giving confidence to one of their young boys.
“We will see what happens in the summer, but the Everton directors don’t have to think Rom will play there for the rest of his career.
“Later on, he’ll play for one of world’s best teams: PSG, Manchester City, Manchester United or Bayern Munich. Big names, but nothing is impossible as Rom has great potential.”
In response to Lukaku hiring Raiola, Everton manager Roberto Martinez said: “He has changed his agent but we are not concerned. He is entitled to do that,” Martinez said.
“Everyone speaks about the colourful character that Mino Raiola is but he has a lot of players who are happy to stay at one club.
“I dealt with Mino Raiola at Wigan and not many people know that he had Danny de Ridder or Vladimir Weiss, players who have been happy to stay at a club. I don’t think there is anything to read into that.”
Lukaku has tallied eight goals and four assists in 30 English Premier League appearances for the Toffees this season.
Meanwhile, in other news, FC Internazionale Milano boss Roberto Mancini has insisted he would be ‘delighted’ to bring in Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure when the transfer window re-opens in the summer.
“There are no talks about Toure, I’ve always said he’s a Manchester City player but we’d be delighted if we could sign him for Inter,” Mancini said.