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Lukaku right to snub West Ham twice - now he has the world at his feet

Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley

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As West Ham prepare to host Everton this weekend they will be aware of the boogeyman that is ready to dent their hopes of a top-10 finish.

As West Ham prepare to host Everton this weekend they will be aware of the boogeyman that is ready to dent their hopes of a top-10 finish.

Romelu Lukaku, the in-form striker in England, has scored in each of his last nine appearances against the Hammers, and appears primed to do so again this weekend.

Slaven Bilic’s side have a patched-up defence, and are unlikely to be able to field New Zealand international centre-back Winston Reid, and Ronald Koeman’s men will hope to extend a record that has seen them lose just once in their last 17 matches against this weekend’s opposition.

There is added intrigue for this Saturday’s encounter, however, with West Ham’s co-owner Karren Brady – famously outspoken – claiming in a newspaper column that the club have twice tried and twice failed to sign Lukaku.

“We have twice tried to buy him but he wants a club playing Champions’ League football — and quickly,” she wrote in The Sun.

“You can’t dismiss his ambition but it’s a shame he regards such an admirable club as little more than a stop-over.”

Brady is perhaps misguided to declare West Ham’s interest in Lukaku and it did, predictably, lead to much social media mirth, but on the two occasions that the Hammers tried to sign the Belgian they felt they had a legitimate chance.

The club first tried to secure his services after his loan spell at West Brom at the end of the 2013-14 season, and again tried before he joined Everton on his initial loan deal.

It is not clear if they had any intention to join the bidding when the Toffees forked out a club-record £28 million to secure his services, but they were keen to partner Lukaku with Andy Carroll. The owners felt, at the time, that such a pairing could fire West Ham into Europe.

Lukaku, though, was right to turn them down. He has scored 24 goals in 32 games this season, and is the leading candidate to win the Golden Boot. In 161 appearances for the Toffees, he has scored 86 goals, meaning he averages more than one goal per game.

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