Italian outfit Inter Milan have this afternoon confirmed the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United.
United exit links
Speculation surrounding Red Devils’ striker Lukaku has been rampant this summer.
On the back of a disappointing campaign last time out, during which he managed to find the net just 15 times across all competitions, rumours long insisted that the board at Old Trafford were open to the idea of parting with Lukaku:
#MUFC are prepared to listen to offers for Lukaku, who is open to a move. Was put firmly in the shop window by his representative this month. A sale would depend on someone being able to stump up a huge fee and finance his £255,000 a week wages though https://t.co/qLHCuBZhge
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) April 20, 2019
Of the clubs touted as potential destinations, meanwhile, Serie A giants Inter Milan were, for most of the summer, the most persistently-linked.
Antonio Conte, who was named as the new Nerazzurri boss in May, was said to have identified Lukaku as a key summer target.
Dybala swap talks collapse
The last week, though, saw a new clear front-runner emerge in the race for the Belgian’s signature.
The outfit in question were Juventus.
A high-profile swap deal between the Bianconeri and Manchester United was heavily-touted across the European media, with some outlets having gone as far as to suggest that an agreement in principle had been found.
Last weekend, however, saw the Red Devils call time on their pursuit of Dybala, amid serious questions over the Argentine’s desire to play at Old Trafford:
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) August 4, 2019
As such, Lukaku’s future was subsequently thrown into serious doubt.
Inter switch confirmed
The collapse of the United-Juventus swap deal, though, opened the door once more for Inter Milan to reignite their pursuit of the Belgian.
In addition, amid claims that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was ready to banish the hitman to his side’s U23s, after Lukaku failed to report for training with the rest of his Red Devils’ teammates, a departure before the close of the English transfer window this evening had always looked the best outcome for all parties.
As such, Lukaku’s Old Trafford exit being made official this evening has come as little surprise.
In an statement across the club’s social media platforms a short time ago, Inter Milan announced that the former Everton man has put pen-to-paper on a deal at the San Siro:
— Inter (@Inter) August 8, 2019
🚨 | BIG ANNOUNCEMENT@RomeluLukaku9 è un giocatore dell’Inter! 🇧🇪⚫🔵
— Inter (@Inter) August 8, 2019
Lukaku is said to have signed with the Milanese powerhouse until 2024.
The fee, meanwhile, is widely-reported as being worth around 80 million Euro:
Lukaku to Inter confirmed. Deal until 2024. Fee is around €80m and United have a sell-on clause. Best for everyone that he’s gone.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) August 8, 2019
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