Ronald Koeman has told Romelu Lukaku he would not succeed in forcing the club to sell him, with the Belgium international’s future in doubts.
The former Chelsea man has said he would like to leave the club, as he does not see a hint of ambition at the club.
Lukaku still has two years left on his contract and had been offered another deal at the club and Koeman hopes he signs the extension.
“The final word is always to the board of the club and if we don’t sell the player we don’t sell the player,” Koeman said.
“The people in the club are really strong enough to keep something and if we go to that direction it’s the final decision by the board of the club.”
Koeman met with Lukaku to discuss the striker’s controversial interview, and says moving the club into a position to challenge for the Premier League’s top four will not be a quick process.
“We spoke about this at the meeting that we had and I said it is not fair to speak about the club,” Koeman said.
“What we like to show, and what also we tried to explain, is you need time. I think if we can do what we want to do for next season then I think we can make the next step, yet even if with more quality or competition in the squad or better players, doesn’t mean you play Champions League football.
“Maybe Man United, Arsenal, City or Liverpool will not qualify for the Champions League and they pay money to play in the Champions League – it can be United or City or Arsenal or Liverpool.
“I don’t think it will be Chelsea or Tottenham but they spend money to play Champions League and one or two of them will not play in the Champions League.”