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Inter strike €8m Lukaku loan deal as Liverpool’s Minamino agrees to join Monaco in €18m move

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Romelu Lukaku is returning to the San Siro.

Romelu Lukaku is returning to the San Siro.

Romelu Lukaku is returning to the San Siro.

Romelu Lukaku will return to Inter Milan after Chelsea struck season-long loan deal with the Italian club while Monaco have agreed a €18 million deal to sign Takumi Minamino from Liverpool.

Inter will pay a fee of €8 million plus add-ons, while terms over the Lukaku’s salary and performance bonuses have also been agreed.

The 29-year-old, who is contracted to Stamford Bridge until 2026, is expected to undergo a medical next week before completing his move back to the side he helped win the Serie A title in the 2020-21 season.

The relationship between Chelsea’s new co-owner Todd Boehly and Michael Yormark – president of Roc Nation, who represent Lukaku – proved key to the deal after the player spoke of his desire to return to Inter last December.

Raheem Sterling hopes to resolve his future within two weeks as Chelsea are targeting the England international but have yet to make formal contact with the player or his club, Manchester City. There is also interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid.

In another deal agreed last night, Minamino has agreed personal terms with the Ligue 1 side but the agreement will also be subject to a medical as the 27-year-old is still in his native Japan.

It is understood Liverpool will receive a fixed fee of €15 million with another €3 million inserted into the deal as a potential add-on.

The forward has failed to hold down a first-team spot since moving to Anfield for £7.25 million in January 2020 from Red Bull Salzburg, and has appeared just 11 times last season.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have held discussions over a move for Ajax forward Antony but are waiting for a breakthrough in negotiations with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong before advancing other deals.

Erik ten Hag was interested in bringing Antony to Old Trafford after a successful spell together at Ajax and United have been busy gauging the 22-year-old Brazil winger’s interest and the cost of any prospective deal.

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United hope to help fund attacking reinforcements by offloading Anthony Martial but the France forward’s £200,000-a-week wages are an obstacle and his poor form on loan at Sevilla during the second half of last season has not helped.

Ten Hag, the new United manager, wants competition for Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga in attack and Antony, who offers pace, creativity and a scoring threat, is most at home on the right.

United’s priority this summer is to bolster the midfield and they remain hopeful of getting a deal over the line for De Jong, despite protracted discussions for the Netherlands international.

With Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata having been released, United are also keen to sign the Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen on a free transfer in addition to De Jong.

Ten Hag would like up to five signings, depending on how far United can stretch their budget.

Elsewhere, Arsenal are hopeful that the £34 million (€39m) signing of Fabio Vieira will help them land another of their main transfer targets, Leeds United’s Raphinha, this summer.

The pair are represented by the same agency, Gestifute, which is run by super-agent Jorge Mendes, and the smoothness of the negotiations to sign Vieira from Porto is being regarded as a positive. It is expected that Leeds will demand £50 million (€58m) for Raphinha, although they have yet to receive any offers and are insisting their priority is to sign players rather than sell them after narrowly avoiding relegation. However, there is an expectation that Manchester City target Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, who some sources claim might go for £45 million (€52m), will leave.

Raphinha (25) is represented by Deco, the former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder, who works with Mendes. His agency brokered Vieira’s move to Arsenal last week, with the signing of the 22-year-old attacking midfielder confirmed by Porto.

Although Raphinha wants to join Barcelona, a deal appears unlikely given the state of the Spanish club’s finances and their priorities. Their top target remains Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.

In Scotland, Liam Scales has moved to Aberdeen on a season-long loan deal from Celtic.

The 23-year-old left Shamrock Rovers in August but has struggled for first-team football at Celtic Park, featuring 13 times in all competitions last season.

“Liam is a player that I have been trying to get for the last couple of years,” said Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin. “I watched him very closely during his time at Shamrock Rovers, unfortunately I couldn’t get a deal done.”


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