It seems like almost daily now, we’re getting a new update on Romelu Lukaku’s proposed move from Manchester United to Inter Milan.
Yesterday, we covered a story from ESPN which claimed the Red Devils had set an £80million asking price for the 26-year-old, which I feel is fair given his age and what he has done on the football field since moving to Old Trafford.
After finally being announced as Inter’s next manager, Antonio Conte was asked about potentially signing Lukaku, and his United teammate Alexis Sanchez directly…
In typical manner, the Italy international remained tight-lipped, although as I always say when these stories come to light, if the rumours aren’t immediately dismissed then I always feel there is some truth in them.
“I think now it’s very difficult to talk about this,” Conte told the BBC World Service “For sure, we have a plan to try to improve the team. But it will be very important for the players, it will be very important to have a great will and great ambition – me the players and the club – to try to reduce this gap [with Juventus].”
“Have Inter met with Lukaku? No, that’s not right, but in this moment there is a sporting director to talk about this and do this question about the transfer market, about the players. But I repeat: Now we are very focused to do the first step and to work together.”
When asked about Sanchez, Conte laughed and replied: “Yeah but you’re talking about the transfer market, you have to talk to the sporting director about this topic.”
Lukaku certainly finds himself in an odd situation at United. He was Jose Mourinho’s first-choice striker but since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge, Marcus Rashford has been the preferred option. When you factor in the Reds’ lack of Champions League football (while Inter can offer him that), it is worth considering for the forward.
I’ve never been a great admirer of Lukaku. I mean sure, he can stick the ball in the back of the net but you need more than that from a striker these days. His hold-up play is pretty average, while his big-game record isn’t something to brag about.
If United can get the aforementioned £80million transfer fee for Lukaku then I’d probably take that money, bring in a younger, back-up striker for Rashford and invest the rest into other areas of the squad. Let’s be honest, he’s hardly irreplaceable and it does make sense at this point in time.