Thursday 22 August 2019

Inter Milan face competition in the race to sign Romelu Lukaku as Paulo Dybala emerges a key figure in transfer battle

Juventus’s Paulo Dybala scored against Manchester United in the Champions League last season. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Juventus’s Paulo Dybala scored against Manchester United in the Champions League last season. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Juventus have joined the race to sign Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, with Maurizio Sarri's side reportedly ready to offer Paulo Dybala as part of the deal, according to Sky in Italy.

The channel claim that Juventus have made a firm offer in a bid to sign Lukaku, as they look to beat domestic rivals Inter Milan to the signature of the Belgian forward.

The suggestion that highly-rated Argentine forward Dybala could be available as part of a deal for Lukaku would change the dynamics of a possible transfer, with Inter continuing to stall on United's £80m valuation of the striker.

Inter's £54m offer for Lukaku was rejected by United chiefs last week, with the Italian club believed to reluctant to meet United's valuation despite the healthy financial backing of their Chinese owners.

"Lukaku is United’s player and this is the reality," stated Inter boss Antonio Conte earlier this month.

"You know very well that I like this player but also in the past when I was Chelsea’s coach and tried to bring him to Chelsea. I think today Lukaku is a player with United. This is the reality.

"I think that in this moment if you're talking about a player from another club it's right to not talk about Lukaku because we have great respect for United.

"As I said before, I like this player and consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement but at the same time there is a transfer market.

"We know very well which is our situation at the moment and we will see what happens but for now Lukaku is a United player."

Dybala's introduction to the discussion over Lukaku's future could change the dynamics, with United yet to give any indication over whether he is a player they would be interested in.

Tottenham believed they were in pole position to pull off an audacious move striker Dybala, who had expressed a desire to play under his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino in north London, but a twist in the plot could see the player end up at Old Trafford.

Dybala has yet to give an indication that he would be willing to join United in a season when they will be playing Europa League football, but the 25-year-old now appears to be caught in a tug-of-war between two of the Premier League's big hitters.

Tottenham were preparing to break their transfer record as talks were underway over a £70m move for Dybala, but the inflated wages United can offer could sway a deal in their favour.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport