Everton will “do the maximum” to keep striker Romelu Lukaku at Goodison Park, manager Ronald Koeman says.
Lukaku, 23, scored twice in a 4-0 win over Hull to help his side go level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal days after turning down a new contract.
The Belgian is the Premier League’s leading scorer with 21 goals.
“You need to have hope in life. The fans love Romelu Lukaku and everyone loves Rom,” said Koeman afterwards.
Former Chelsea player Lukaku has turned down the most lucrative contract offer in Everton’s history.
The Toffees had been confident the Belgium international would sign a new five-year deal thought to be worth around £140,000 a week.
Everton fans roared when Lukaku’s name was read out at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The hosts were leading 2-0 when Lukaku struck twice in added time to seal his side’s sixth successive home league win.
He is the first Everton player to score at least 20 league goals in a season since Gary Lineker hit 30 in 1985-86.
“You are surprised about this?” added Koeman when asked about Lukaku’s performance.
“He is a professional and every professional gives the best for the club, the players, for everybody.
“Of course we like to keep best players and we will do the maximum to keep these players.
“But the final decision will be with the player himself.”