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Published: 14:54 | 17/6/16

Koeman wants Everton to step up

Ronald Koeman wants to take Everton to the next step and is keen to hold on to many of the current squad as possible.

During his two years at Southampton, Koeman guided the Saints to their best Premier League finish in back-to-back seasons and has been tasked with rebuilding Everton following his appointment as Roberto Martinez's successor.

The Toffees could only finish 11th in the Premier League last season and the Dutchman wants to restore the club to win titles and take the club back to Europe.

“To be involved in this great big project for the next couple of years is fantastic and a big feeling," Koeman said at his official unveiling on Friday.

“Everybody knows the history of Everton. It’s a big history and it’s nice to be part of that, to win and play European Cup football and win titles.

“Everyone is ready to take the next step and I’m one of them.”

Koeman had been in talks with Southampton outfit about extending his three-year deal on the south coast but admits they were unable to reach an agreement.

"I will keep it short on Southampton as it is important to look forward in life. I had a meeting with the board - the first option was to go into the third year of my contract, and I said that was not possible," he explained.

"There was no way I was signing a new contract and I did not agree. Through that whole story, Everton showed that kind of interest. Southampton gave me the permission to talk to Everton and I'm the new manager - and that's all I would like to say.

"Thanks to them, we had two fantastic seasons - thanks to the players, staff and fans, but I'm in Everton now."

The Dutchman faces a batle to keep the squad together with both Romelu Lukaku and John Stones the subject of transfer rumours.

Lukaku has hinted that he wants to move away from Goodison Park in the summer but Koeman is keen to speak to the Belgium international.

"I haven't spoken to Romelu. From this moment, I'm working for Everton and I will talk to several players.

"Lukaku is a key player, a goalscorer, you don't want to lose your best players. If I can do something about that, I will.

When asked about Stones, Koeman added: "I like to help everybody and sometimes you have something more, he plays where I played. There will be good support for the boy. First I would like to talk to him personally, ask what his feeling is and make conclusions."

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