Romelu Lukaku was ready to sign a new contract with Everton before “voodoo” convinced him not to, the club’s majority shareholder has claimed.
The Belgium international left Goodison Park to join Manchester United in July following four seasons with the Toffees.
That brought an end to a protracted saga in which Lukaku was linked with both United and a return to Chelsea.
Lukaku has already scored 16 goals in all competitions for United this season, but according to Farhad Moshiri he would never have made the move if not for a last-minute phone call to his mother.
Speaking at Everton’s general meeting, Moshiri said: “With Romelu I wasted two summers trying to keep him. I spoke to him, his agent, his mother.
“We tried to offer him a better offer than Chelsea. He wanted to play for Chelsea though at that time.
“The money that agents can get from players moving club is immense and nothing has to be disclosed.
“Bill [Kenwright] has been like a father to many players, but ultimately it’s the agents they rely on.
“If I tell you what we offered him, you won’t believe it, and we offered him an even better deal.
“His agent came to Finch Farm to sign contract then Lukaku phones his mother and ‘there was a pilgrimage to Africa and some sort of voodoo that says he had to sign for Chelsea’. What can you do?
“He’d gone to LA and wouldn’t go back, his brain had gone.”