Manchester United are thought to have turned down an initial bid from Inter for Romelu Lukaku on Thursday, with the two clubs still said to be £12m apart in their valuation of the player.
The Nerazzurri flew their sporting director, Piero Ausilio, to London to meet with United in the hope of succeeding with an initial proposal of a two-year loan-deal, widely reported at a total of €70m (£63m) being paid in instalments.
The deal would be comprised of an initial payment of €10m, then with an obligation to pay the remaining balance of €60m over the two-year period, according to The Guardian.
It’s believed that Lukaku will only be allowed to leave Old Trafford should the club recoup the £75m originally paid for the 26-year-old back in 2017. A big advantage Inter have, though, is the knowledge of Lukaku’s desire to leave, which could potentially force United’s hand and cause them to lose a player who it was previously thought would end their goal-scoring problems.
Lukaku is said to be keen on working with Inter’s new manager, Antonio Conte, who is a clear admirer of the Belgium international having tried to sign him for Chelsea two years ago, beaten to the player’s signature by then-United manager José Mourinho.
The stumbling block for Inter seems to be raising enough funds to make a full-cash offer for Lukaku, with the need for them to offload other players such as Mauro Icardi first. Alternatively, they may offer him and/or other players who are also surplus to requirements as part of a deal to tempt United into selling.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær now views Marcus Rashford as his first-choice number 9 – apparent by his team selection towards the end of last season – as he looks for a frontline with more explosive pace than Lukaku can apparently offer. The second-in-line to Rashford seems to be Anthony Martial, also very pacey and skilful, therefore Lukaku is seeking a route out of the club so he can be first-choice elsewhere.
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