According to Sky Sports, officials from Italian giants Inter are in England in an attempt to sign Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku. The former Everton star has returned to pre-season training with the Red Devils. However, his future in Manchester seems to be in major doubt after a mixed United career so far.
A move this summer is not completely unrealistic this summer for Lukaku, who certainly did not look happy last season.
A move would suit both parties
The Sky Sports report suggests that Lukaku wants to move on and United are looking to sell the striker, but only for the right price. The Red Devils are believed to be looking for £75million, the same initial fee they paid to sign the striker two years ago.
Lukaku was not a guaranteed starter last season, as England forward Marcus Rashford stepped-up and played on a more regular basis. Lukaku has a massive ego and not playing every week would be a blow to him.
A move elsewhere would likely mean guaranteed first-team football in the new campaign. Inter boss Antonio Conte is a big fan of the striker, so he would be first choice for the Nerazzurri.
Inter cannot afford the full fee
There could be a problem in Lukaku to Inter, even though the move will suit all parties involved. The problem is that the Nerazzurri simply do not have the £75million to spend on Lukaku.
They are not a club flush with cash, especially that sort of fee. The club officials will no doubt attempt to work something out, but at the moment it is hard to see Inter reaching a compromise with United.
One way that Inter could buy Lukaku is by selling Argentinian international forward Mauro Icardi. His future has been in doubt for a good while and he has a strained relationship with the Nerazzurri.
Reports from Italy claim that Icardi is not in the plans of new Inter boss Conte. Icardi is also being linked with a £50million move to Italian giants Juventus.
He had also been viewed as a player who could be used as a makeweight in a deal for Lukaku. However, the Red Devils want to recoup a big fee for the striker and do not want any of Inter’s players in part-exchange. Lukaku may want the move. However, his contract does not expire until 2022, which means that United are in no rush to sell the Belgium international.
United could raise cash from sales
Manchester United are in a bit of a quandary at the minute, as not only is Lukaku’s future in doubt but also the future of French midfielder Paul Pogba. The World Cup-winner has been heavily linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The club’s hierarchy are not going to splash the cash, despite boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needing to strengthen his squad in some key positions this summer. Obviously United needs to bring in cash through selling players.
At the minute, Manchester United are odds of 11/10 to finish in the top-four next season. However, those odds are slightly shorter because of Arsenal’s inactivity and Chelsea’s transfer ban.
Last season was poor for Manchester United, with Lukaku producing the worst season of his career in the Premier League. A move elsewhere could well revive his flagging fortunes.
At 26, he should be at the peak of his powers. However, he looked out of sorts last season. A switch to Inter looks the most likely outcome this summer. If he does stay at United for next season, the Belgian will certainly need to improve or he is likely to find himself out of the starting line-up.
Will Romelu Lukaku leave Manchester United this summer?
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