Wednesday 23 October 2019

Lukaku's Inter move hinges on United deal for Icardi

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku. Photo: Getty
Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku. Photo: Getty

Matt Law and James Ducker

Romelu Lukaku's hopes of clinching a move to Inter Milan rest on whether Manchester United can be persuaded to take Mauro Icardi as part of the deal, or another buyer emerges for the Argentinian.

Inter will make United an offer of Icardi plus cash, as they cannot afford the £80 million valuation the Old Trafford club have placed on the Belgian. The Italians need to offload Icardi, whose relationship with his Inter team-mates has broken down, before signing another high-profile striker.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not be keen on a deal that involves taking Icardi, given the fractious relationship between Inter and the player, whose wife, Wanda, acts as his agent.

But Inter do not have any other buyers lined up, meaning they cannot afford a straight cash deal for Lukaku unless United drop their demands. Other than the £80 million fee, Inter would have to find a way of getting close to Lukaku's £255,000-a-week United wages.

New Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri has been linked with a move for Icardi and that could potentially unlock a cash move for Lukaku to Inter, but there has been no contact as yet.

Having tried to sign Lukaku for Chelsea two years ago, Conte believes he can transform the striker into one of the best in the world.

Inter do have other players they could try to sell to raise cash for Lukaku, including Croatia winger Ivan Perisic, former Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan and Portugal forward Joao Mario, who had a spell on loan at West Ham United.

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