Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku is exploring the possibility of legal action after Everton’s largest shareholder Farhad Moshiri suggested the Belgium striker left the club because of voodoo.
Moshiri told Everton shareholders on Tuesday that Lukaku suddenly reneged on a pledge to sign a new contract last summer and asked to leave for Chelsea, who were themselves later outmanoeuvred by United.
He said: “Romelu called his mother and said she was on a pilgrimage to Africa and had seen some sort of voodoo that said he had to sign for Chelsea. What can you do?”
A representative for Lukaku strongly denied the claims on Wednesday, saying his transfer request “had nothing to do with voodoo”.
They told BBC Sport: “He distances himself from these beliefs and this statement and will now see what judicial steps can be taken in relation to them.”
Lukaku, 24, joined United in a £75m deal in July after they saw off rival interest from his former club Chelsea. Until late last season he had seemed set to sign a new contract at Goodison Park.
“Romelu is very catholic and voodoo is not part of his life or his beliefs. He simply had no faith in Everton and no confidence in Mr Moshiri’s project,” Lukaku’s representative added.
“That is why he did not want to sign on any condition. He wanted to make the next step in his career and wanted the security to be able to leave.”
United strike back at Sevilla in ticket price row
United, meanwhile, have hiked the price of tickets for Sevilla fans travelling to Old Trafford for their Champions League tie in March in response to the Spanish club’s own “excessive” charges.
The Premier League side say tickets in the away end will cost £89 – the same as Sevilla are charging United fans for the first leg, despite asking Liverpool fans to pay just £54 in November – in order to subsidise the cost of their supporters’ trip to Spain.
United said they hoped the move would be a deterrent to future opponents raising prices for their fans.
Sevilla have refused to back down but pledged to subsidise their own fans’ costs following the price increase and said they would complain to governing body Uefa about the number of tickets offered by United.