Koeman confident over Lukaku return


Ronald Koeman is hopeful that striker Romelu Lukaku will be fit to face Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Belgium forward, who has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich, missed Tuesday's EFL Cup loss to Norwich City due to an injured toe.

Koeman confirmed he trained alone on Thursday, but said the 23-year-old would likely be ready play a part on the south coast.

"He did training separate to the group today [Thursday] and we expect him to train normally in the morning," he said. "If that happens, he will be fit for the weekend."

Asked whether there had been any progress regarding a new contract for Lukaku, the Dutchman added: "No, I don't know at the moment. It's not my job."

The surprise 2-0 loss to the Canaries snapped a five-game winning run in all competitions for Everton, who sit second in the table.

"It's a good start to the season, maybe better than everyone expected," Koeman said of his side's promising beginning to the new campaign.

"The quality players can make the difference."

Koeman also confirmed Phil Jagielka had just been rested on the bench in midweek, while James McCarthy is nearing a return and fellow groin injury victim Darron Gibson is a week behind him.

When Everton last visited Bournemouth, with Roberto Martinez at the helm, the match finished 3-3 as a flurry of late goals marked it out as one of the 2015-16 season's most dramatic games.