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Lukaku has no feud with Mourinho, is concentrating solely on Everton at the moment

Richard Heathcote

If we are to believe the football media, Romelu Lukaku hates our guts, hates Jose Mourinho, and he's basically halfway to Tottenham already for next season.

Fortunately, the Mirror had this brilliant idea to actually talk to the player.  What a strange concept!

"Ha! People said there were arguments.  There were arguments in the press and stuff, but I don't know where it came from. I just spoke to him and said hopefully what I wanted as a player and he was okay with it."

This isn't the first time Lukaku has gone to some length to explain that he feels no enmity towards Chelsea or Mourinho for the way things played out at the end of the summer transfer window.  Maybe this time, it'll take in the collective consciousness, too.  (Yeah, it probably won't - that'd be way too boring.)

"My desire to improve and be the best I can be explains everything - I could have stayed at Chelsea and played a few games this season, but how can you reach your best level if you have a year when you don't play so much?"

"As a youngster, you normally have to play. How will you be one of the best not playing? Look at Rooney, Ronaldo, Drogba - every top striker. They always played.  They played constantly, always, all the time. Games, games, games. I just want to be one of them - that is my ambition, I just want to be one of those guys, I don't play football to show off or to make money, I play because of my pride and because I love the game."

"I know I am good at it sometimes, but good is not good enough - you have to be perfect. That's why I am here. To play games, to help the team reach that level, and to improve my game. If we [Everton] get fourth I'll be proud of myself."

Lukaku certainly has one of Mourinho's core tenets well covered, the desire to improve and to be the best.

"I just constantly want to impress people, constantly to hit people in the eye, like, 'Whoa, that Lukaku guy, he's a good player! Wow, we need to follow him. That Lukaku guy, he's a good player, bang, bang.'  I want to hear people say that because then I know I'll have to do even better, because the next time they see me it has to be better - better than the year before."

But what about the future?  Lukaku has hit plenty of people in the eye over the last couple seasons and many, many around the Premier League and elsewhere in Europe would be more than happy, I'm sure, to get their grubby little hands on him.  Mourinho has already denied any actual active transfer activity around the player - agent chatter does not count - will Lukaku join in?

"Because the team is playing well and personally I have been doing well there is a lot of speculation about teams being interested.  For me it's good. When there is interest it shows you are doing your job. I am happy with that, but I want to remain calm. It's all good, I just want to help my team-mates to get to fourth, and then I will start talking."

"You have those conversations at the end of the season. Now, in April, May, you hear when there are clubs interested in you, but for me the most important thing - the only thing - is to help the club get fourth, and from then on we will see."

Ok, so neither Mourinho nor Lukaku have really ruled out anything categorically.  Is that cause for panic?  Probably not.  Maybe yes.  My head hurts.

I'm sticking with my original position.  Selling Lukaku makes very little sense.  Even if/when we buy a big-name, big-money striker this summer, Lukaku would get plenty of minutes and opportunities at Chelsea.  Whoever of our current striking trio sticks around can play third-fiddle or waterboy at practice.

Make it so.

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