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.
The Belgium international 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 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.”
Iranian billionaire Moshiri, who has pumped £150million 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.”