Monday 19 August 2019

Manchester United to reject Lukaku's extended Inter loan move with permanent deal favoured

Old Trafford chiefs favour cash deal as Solskjaer seals £50m swoop for Palace's Wan-Bissaka

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

James Ducker

Manchester United are likely to reject Inter Milan's proposed £62.7m deal to first loan and then buy Romelu Lukaku.

New Inter coach Antonio Conte has made the Belgium striker his primary transfer target this summer.

United are open to selling Lukaku but want to recoup their £80m outlay on the player they signed from Everton in 2017 and Inter's hopes have so far rested on being able to offload Mauro Icardi to free up cash and space on the wage bill. Yet, with Inter struggling to sell Icardi, the club are preparing to make an alternative proposal after talks with Lukaku's agent this week.

That would involve an initial two-year loan worth £9m and then an obligation to buy Lukaku at the end of the term for a further £53.7m. Inter are likely to present United with the offer in the coming days but sources at Old Trafford have indicated that it is expected to be rebuffed by the club.

United - who are expected to announce the projected £50m signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace today after the right-back underwent a medical and finalised his transfer yesterday - have already indicated they have little interest in an exchange deal involving Icardi, Ivan Perisic or Radja Nainggolan.

United favour a cash transfer if Lukaku is to leave, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knowing the sale of Belgian for a substantial fee would swell his summer transfer budget.

Nonetheless, Inter's proposal to follow a loan with an obligation to buy is not uncommon. For example, Inter signed Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic on an 18-month loan from Manchester City in 2015 with an obligation to buy subject to certain conditions.

If Icardi is not sold, a deal for Lukaku is unlikely to get off the ground unless another club comes in. With Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, unwilling to sell Paul Pogba unless a club matches the midfielder's £160m tag and both Real Madrid and Juventus unable to do a deal at that figure and United unable to move on Alexis Sanchez, Lukaku still looks the most likely of that big-earning trio to depart.

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