Romelu Lukaku keen to extend Everton stay

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 30, 2013, 20:29 PM IST

London: Romelu Lukaku says he is willing to remain on loan at Everton next season if Roberto Martinez`s side secure a place in the Champions League.

Lukaku was allowed to leave Chelsea on loan just before the transfer window closed and the Belgium striker has made a big impression at Goodison Park, scoring seven times to lift Everton into contention for a top-four spot in the Premier League.

The 20-year-old, who also shone during his spell on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, has been in such good form that some have questioned whether Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made a mistake by letting Lukaku leave.

Mourinho responded by claiming Lukaku had been determined to force a move away from Chelsea because he didn`t think he would be given the chance to play ahead of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto`o and Demba Ba.

Lukaku admits he has a "strange" situation with Chelsea and claims he has not heard from anyone at Stamford Bridge for months.

In the circumstances, the prospect of staying at Everton for another year is appealing to Lukaku, but he also made it clear he needs to be playing in the Champions League as soon as possible.

"It`s a bit strange at the moment, the last time I heard from them was a couple of months ago," Lukaku told BBC`s Football Focus on Saturday.

"It was not the fact I was not wanted. Imagine I was playing for Chelsea now I would play maybe five games, maybe score one or two goals. But now everyone in England is talking about me.

"I want to help Everton. I admire his (Martinez`s) style, everything at the club, and I thought that was the next stage I needed for this year.

"I think we can challenge all those clubs in the top six.

"I think it`s not a bad idea (to stay at Everton for a second season). If we play Champions League then I think so.

"I miss European football a lot. I have to work hard and see what will be the best decision for me at the end of the season."

The ambitious Lukaku, who joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2011, is just beginning to fulfil his potential, but he has already set his sights on becoming one of the best footballers in the world.

"That`s an ambitious statement," he said. "I know what it takes to be one of the best. It takes a certain mentality on and off the pitch.

"I know what it takes and I`m not scared to say it."