Romelu Lukaku refused to sign a new contract at Everton after a voodoo message told him to join Chelsea, according to the club’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
Romelu Lukaku was in a meeting in March at which he was scheduled to sign a new contract – around the time his agent Mino Raiola claimed the deal was 99.9 per cent done – when the u-turn happened.
“We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract,” Moshiri told Everton’s AGM.
“Robert (Elstone, chief executive) was there, everything was in place, there were a few reporters outside, then in the meeting Rom called his mother.
“He said she was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea.”
Iranian billionaire Moshiri, who has pumped £150m of his own money into the club to clear debts, said the Toffees offered the striker an “unbelievable” amount of money to stay, understood to be £140,000 a week.
“The issue with Romelu was not financial. As long as I am major shareholder financial issues are irrelevant.
“I wasted two summers to keep him: first summer with his agent, him and his family we managed to keep him.
“Last summer we offered him a better deal than Chelsea, whatever they offered we matched but he just didn’t want to stay.
“If I tell you what we offered him you wouldn’t believe it but they offered him a better deal.”
Lukaku, who is big friends with Manchester United playmaker Paul Pogba, eventually moved to Old Trafford in July for an initial £75m after Jose Mourinho caught his former side napping over the transfer.
“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,” Moshiri added.
“Ultimately we lost money. To buy Rom now would be £120m. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in LA (with Pogba) and he wouldn’t come back.
“It happens. Alex Ferguson got another year out of (Cristiano) Ronaldo but then he was off. (Luis) Suarez had to bite a few players to get off.”