Monday, September 16, 2019

Lukaku completes protracted transfer to become Inter´s record signing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Aug 2019

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Romelu Lukaku has completed his record-breaking transfer from Manchester United to Inter, the Serie A club confirmed.

The Belgium international has moved for a fee understood to be €80million (£73m), making him Inter’s most expensive signing.

Lukaku signed a five-year contract with the Nerazzuri after a two-season stay at Old Trafford, as Antonio Conte landed the striker he has long hoped to acquire.

“Inter were the only club I wanted, because Inter is ‘Not For Everyone’. I’m here to bring the Nerazzurri back to the top,” said the striker.

Lukaku’s move brings to a close a protracted saga that has rumbled on for much of the close season, with it becoming clear early on United wanted him out.

The 26-year-old joined United from Everton in 2017 for a fee in the region of £75m, the Red Devils beating Conte’s Chelsea to him on that occasion.

He was first-choice striker for the best part of 18 months under Jose Mourinho, scoring 16 Premier League goals in his first campaign, but the Portuguese coach’s successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferred the more mobile and agile Marcus Rashford to lead the line.

Lukaku still managed to make an impact, scoring twice in United’s famous Champions League turnaround away to Paris Saint-Germain in March, but those goals proved to be his last for the club.

Transfer rumours swirled right from the start of United’s pre-season, with Lukaku often training apart from the rest of the squad due to an apparent injury, but behind the scenes Solskjaer is said to have been irritated by his attitude.

Solskjaer was reported to have given Lukaku a dressing down after the Belgian leaked confidential data about the United squad’s top running speeds during pre-season on social media earlier this month.

In doing so, Lukaku attempted to disprove criticism about his perceived lack of pace, as the data showed him to be the second quickest United player behind Diogo Dalot, but his post also exposed Juan Mata and Luke Shaw – both among the slowest – to ridicule.

Lukaku is not thought to have returned to United since, having spent time training with his former club Anderlecht this week, despite the Red Devils’ apparent demand for him to return on Tuesday.

Despite previously appearing close to joining Juventus in a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala, Lukaku arrived in Milan during the early hours of Thursday to finalise his switch.

The deal sees Inter break their long-standing transfer record of €49m, paid to Lazio for Christian Vieri in 1999.

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