Koeman keen to keep Lukaku, Stones and Barkley

Date published: Friday 17th June 2016 7:31 - Matthew Stead

Ronald Koeman will make keeping highly-rated trio Romelu Lukaku, John Stones and Ross Barkley his first priority at Everton.

Koeman was appointed Everton manager on a three-year deal last week, replacing Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park.

One of the Dutchman’s first tasks will be to keep Lukaku, Stones and Barkley, linked to Chelsea, Manchester United and numerous other teams, at the club.

He said: “I have had that experience in my last two years, always a lot of interest in players.

“Like everybody, we like to keep all these key players, because you don’t sell your best players. But that is about meetings I will have with these kind of players and then we will see what happens.”

Koeman is expected to be given money to strengthen the squad by new majority investor Farhad Moshiri.

He said: “There is a budget of course, that is part of making the next step, but first of all you need to know what we have at home and what we have at the Academy.

“If we agree we need better players or some players in different positions, then we will work on that, but that is always after we know what we have in the Everton squad.”

There was huge disquiet among supporters in the final months of the Martinez regime but chairman Bill Kenwright expects Koeman to win supporters over.

Kenwright said: “He is very much the choice of the board and I’ve seldom felt such unanimity in the fanbase for a signing. It is a big signing for us.”

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