Monday 19 August 2019

Manchester United 'end interest' in Paulo Dybala as Inter Milan confirm they still want Romelu Lukaku

Paulo Dybala scored against Manchester United in the Champions League (Martin Rickett/PA)
Paulo Dybala scored against Manchester United in the Champions League (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United sources have confirmed that they have ended their interest in signing Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, after several days of negotiations over a swap move that would have seen Romelu Lukaku move to Turin failed to reach a conclusion.

While it has been clear from early in the negotiations that Dybala needed some convincing to make the move to Manchester and was keen to remain with Juventus, United insiders suggested on Sunday evening that they had given up hope of concluding a deal.

It remains to be seen whether United and Dybala's representatives will attempt to revive the deal in the coming days, but there is a clear attempt from United to distance themselves from the transfer and suggest they decided to end negotiations.

Reports suggest Dybala's huge wage demands and the conditions being put on the move by his agent Jorge Antun are key factors in United's decision to pull the plug on a deal that leaves Lukaku in a difficult positions with the English transfer window closing on Thursday.

Italian clubs will still be eligible to sign players until September 2nd and there are now suggestions that Inter Milan may return with a fresh bid for Lukaku, after their initial offer of £54m was rejected earlier this month.

Inter coach Antonio Conte suggested on Sunday that his club were still keen to sign Lukaku, after his side played a pre-season game against Tottenham.

Antonio Conte roared on his Inter Milan players at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (John Walton/PA)

"For sure Lukaku, we are talking about a good player, a striker that in the past I tried to buy when I was Chelsea’s coach," said Conte.

"We're talking about two big clubs, Juventus and Inter Milan, but honestly I don’t know. Only my way is to work with this group of players, to try to improve this group and instil the right mentality."

The collapse of the deal is a difficult pill for United and their executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to swallow, after their made it clear that they were keen to tie up the move after the two clubs agreed on a player swap.

While United were willing to offer Dybala a sizeable increase on his current wages at Juventus, his lack of desire to make the move highlighted United's waning appeal to the game's biggest stars.

Meanwhile, reports continue to suggest United midfielder Paul Pogba will continue to push to force through a move to Real Madrid in this transfer window, after he missed Saturday's game against AC Milan in Cardiff with an injury that was described as a 'sore back' by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Paul Pogba’s Manchester United future remains unclear (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Pogba said in June that "it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else" and reports in Spain continue to link him with real Madrid, but his team-mate Nemanja Matic hopes he stays at United.

"We will see what is going to happen," Matic said of Pogba's situation. "He's a Manchester United player and of course we will be happy if he stays.

"He is a great player and very important for the team. I don't see that he's going to leave. But in football anything is possible."

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