Sunday 18 August 2019

Breakthrough in talks over move for Romelu Lukaku as he edges closer to Manchester United exit

Romelu Lukaku is attracting interest from Inter Milan (Martin Rickett/PA)
Romelu Lukaku is attracting interest from Inter Milan (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Romelu Lukaku is expected to end his bizarre summer with Manchester United by sealing a move to Inter Milan, with the revived negotiations over the transfer not affected by Thursday's transfer deadline in England.

Lukaku has not played for United in their pre-season games after he asked to leave the club and even though manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed injury was keeping him out of his plans, this story took an unexpected twist this week as the striker turned up for training with his former club Anderlecht.

While there was a suggestion that Lukaku believed he had permission to train away from United, there have been reports that the player has been fined for his trip to his Belgian homeland and now it appears his time at the club is finally coming to an end.

Inter have emerged as strong favourites to sign Lukaku once again after the proposed swap deal that would have seen Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, with the two clubs believed to be close to signing off on a deal that would need to be confirmed by the August 18th Italian transfer deadline.

Dybala's decision to turn down a move to Manchester United has left Lukaku in limbo after he made it clear that he wanted to leave the club this summer and seal a move to Italy, with Inter Milan the club he initially wanted to join.

That stance changed when Juventus and United concocted the swap deal with Dybala, with Inter now returning with an improved bid for the 26-year-old striker who has scored 42 goals for United since his £75m move from Everton in the summer of 2017.

Yet Lukaku now looks set to get his wish and finally link up with Inter head coach Antonio Conte, who tried and failed to sign the Belgian frontman during his time as Chelsea manager.

"With Lukaku, we are talking about a good player, a striker I tried to buy in the past when I was Chelsea's coach," stated Conte on Sunday.

"We continue to work on it in the best possible way. I understand there are some gaps that need to be filled but at the moment I am very hopeful that this will happen."

United have been holding out for a fee close to £75m they initially paid to sign Lukaku, with Inter now believed to be getting closer to matching that asking price as a deal appears to be within sight.

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