LONDON • Romelu Lukaku revealed that his desire to play in the Champions League and Everton's failure to attract top-class players have convinced him not to sign a new contract with the English Premier League club.
Lukaku, who is the joint-top scorer in the Premier League with 19 goals alongside Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, has told Everton he will not sign a new deal which would have made him the club's first £100,000-plus-a-week (S$172,000) player.
Everton are still hoping to convince their star to agree an extended deal, but the 23-year-old appears determined to force a transfer to a bigger club.
"To do that, you need the platform to show yourself," he said when asked about his desire to be ranked among the world's best forwards. "Then you are talking about Champions League and whatever types of games.
"Whatever type of situation, I just try to deliver. But as a team you want to be the best. I want my team to be the best.
"At the end of the day, the big aim in football is to win as many titles as you can, so we need to try more, give a bit more.
AMBITION IS THE KEY
You have to think ahead. How this club has to grow, how this club has to improve, which player does it want to bring in so you can challenge for the big trophies.
ROMELU LUKAKU, on how clubs must have great desire to succeed.
"Everton as a football club has a great history. But the future has to be written."
Everton splashed out on Morgan Schneiderlin (£20 million) and Yannick Bolasie (£25 million) earlier this season, but Lukaku believes there needs to be a bigger influx of top players.
"Instead of living in the past, you have to think ahead," added the Belgium striker, whose Everton contract is due to expire at the end of next season.
"How this club has to grow, how this club has to improve, which player does it want to bring in so you can challenge for the big trophies.
"Then like sometimes I will speak to (Belgium team-mate) Vincent Kompany who was at (Manchester) City when it all happened.
"He said, 'Rom, one summer I just came in and boom, boom, boom, boom... Robinho from there, that guy came in, this guy came in, this guy came in. They had league titles, FA Cup, League Cups. That is what we want as players."
Everton last won a league title in the 1986-87 season and the club's last major trophy was the 1994-95 FA Cup.
The Toffees are seventh in the league and host 18th-placed Hull City tomorrow.
"At the minute I am one of the best strikers in the league," added Lukaku. "I can't not say that. If I don't say that I am one of the best, I am shooting myself in the head."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE TIMES, LONDON