Fresh development in Romelu Lukaku transfer story as Harry Maguire misses Leicester training due to 'illness'
Romelu Lukaku has been left out of the 26-man Manchester United squad for this week's pre-season friendly with Kristiansund in Norway, sparking speculation that his time at the club may be coming to an end.
Lukaku has not played for United in their pre-season games and while manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested he is injured, the Belgian striker's desire to leave the club and transfer interest from Inter Milan and Juventus is likely to have been the primary reason for his absence.
Now United have travelled without the striker they signed from Everton in a £75m deal two years ago, with the club making no reference to the reason for Lukaku's exit as they confirmed the squad for match in Norway.
Independent.ie revealed last Saturday that Lukaku's exit from United could be the trigger that sees the club finally meet the asking price being demanded by Leicester for their centre-back Harry Maguire and intriguingly, he was absent from his club's media day due to what was described as 'illness'.
United had a bid of £70m for Maguire rejected earlier this month as Leicester are believed to be holding out for a deal closer to £80m and the cash generated by the sale of Lukaku could plug that gap and allow a deal to be concluded.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers praised Maguire's attitude and professionalism as he has taken a full part in the club's pre-season preparation despite intense speculation over his future, but it appears the end to one of the long-running transfer sagas of this summer could soon come to an end.
Maguire will become the most expensive defender of all-time if he moves for more than the £75m Liverpool paid to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018, with United keen to get the deal concluded to allow the 26-year-old to link up with Solskjaer's squad in good time before their Premier League opener against Chelsea on August 11th.
Here is the full Manchester United squad that traveled to Norway to play Kristiansund on Tuesday:
David De Gea, Lee Grant, Joel Pereira, Sergio Romero; Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ashley Young; Fred, Angel Gomes, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba; Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.