English Premier League

How voodoo helped Romelu Lukaku’s move to Manchester United

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri claims the striker’s motivation for leaving the club was spiritual rather than financial

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 10:26am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 10:15pm

Belgian international Romelu Lukaku gave his reason for rejecting Everton’s offer of a reported £140,000 (US$189,000) a week because of a voodoo message, the Premier League club’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri has claimed.

Moshiri told fellow shareholders at the club’s AGM the 24-year-old striker – who eventually joined Manchester United for £75 million despite Chelsea thinking they had secured his signature – looked set to sign the new contract until he made a phone call to his mother.

“We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm [the club’s training centre] to sign the contract,” said Moshiri.

“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 he was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea,” added the 62-year-old Iran-born businessman.

Moshiri, who has invested £150 million of his own money into the club to clear debts, said he considered Lukaku’s departure was a personal failure for him.

“The issue with Romelu was not financial. As long as I am major shareholder financial issues are irrelevant,” said Moshiri

“I wasted two summers to keep him: first summer with his agent, him and his family we managed to keep him.

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“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.

“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.