Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Everton owner Farhad Moshiri says Romelu Lukaku left the squad last summer after receiving a voodoo message.
Lukaku denies the claim and is seeking legal advice in his dispute, according to his representative.
"Romelu's decision had nothing to do with voodoo," the Lukaku rep told BBC Sport, who also reported he was angered by the claims.
"He distances himself from these beliefs and this statement and will now see what judicial steps can be taken in relation to them."
Everton's major shareholder spoke Tuesday at the Toffees' Annual General Meeting. He talked about Lukaku's departure from the club to join Chelsea. United eventually won the bid for the player for more than $100 million.
Lukaku, 24, made his senior career debut in 2009 for Anderlecht, before joining Chelsea in 2011. He went on loan to West Bromwich Albion in 2012 and to Everton in 2013, before signing on full time with Everton in 2014. He signed with United in July.
"I can assure you we tried everything to keep Rom," Moshiri said," according to the Guardian. "If I tell you what we offered him you wouldn't believe it. We offered him a better deal than Chelsea and his agent came to Finch Farm to sign the contract. Robert [Elstone, Everton's chief executive] was there, everything was in place, there were a few reporters outside, then in the meeting Rom called his mother.
"He said he was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea."
He also offered some measured jabs at his competition.
"I got close to Rom, I like the boy, he's a good boy, and I used all my charm to keep him and I flatly failed," Moshiri said. "This is unfortunately the world. Ultimately we lost money. To buy Rom now would be £120 million. The issue was his brain had gone. He was in LA and he wouldn't come back. It happens. Alex Ferguson got another year out of [Cristiano] Ronaldo but then he was off. [Luis] Suárez had to bite a few players to get off."
Lukaku's representative also told BBC Sport that his client is "very catholic and voodoo is not part of his life or his beliefs."
"He simply had no faith in Everton and no confidence in Mr. Moshiri's project," the representative said. "That is why he did not want to sign on any condition.
"He wanted to make the next step in his career and wanted the security to be able to leave."
United beat Everton 2-0 on Jan. 1 in a Premier League match at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England. The Red Devils host Chelsea on Feb. 25 at Old Trafford.