Everton major shareholder Farshad Moshiri was asked during the club’s annual general meeting why the club sold Romelu Lukaku to which a different explanation was offered.
The British-Iranian billionaire stated: “I can assure you we tried everything to keep Rom. If I tell you what we offered him you wouldn’t believe it. We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract. Robert Elstone, our chief executive was there, everything was in place, there were a few reporters outside, then in the meeting Rom called his mother. He said he was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea. 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 £120m. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in LA and he wouldn’t come back. It happens. Alex Ferguson got another year out of Ronaldo but then he was off. Suárez had to bite a few players to get off.”
This prompted an angry response from Lukaku who according to BBC Sport is considering taking legal action against Moshiri with a representative of the Belgian international telling the BBC: “Romelu’s decision had nothing to do with voodoo. He distances himself from these beliefs and this statement and will now see what judicial steps can be taken in relation to them. Romelu is very catholic and voodoo is not part of his life or his beliefs. He simply had no faith in Everton and no confidence in Mr Moshiri’s project. That is why he did not want to sign on any condition. He wanted to make the next step in his career and wanted the security to be able to leave.”