Manchester United have confirmed the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan for £75 million. The Belgian has signed a five-year contract with the Italian giants.
Lukaku’s future has been the core of a lot of speculation surrounding United this summer. Despite travelling with the squad for a couple of games, the striker did not play a single minute of pre-season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. Right from get go of the transfer window, Inter were in constant discussion with United over the possibility of a switch. However, their initial offers were constantly low par, and it seemed to frustrate the Red Devils.
With talks stalling, Juventus came in and tried their hand at signing the 26-year-old. The rumors surrounding the move got fans dreaming as it was reported that the Old Lady were prepared to offer Paulo Dybala in a swap deal. However, the player was very reluctant to leave Juve and his exorbitant wage demands put the club off the move, meaning Lukaku’s future remained uncertain.
Eventually, Inter succumbed to United’s demands and submitted a bid of £75 million, which was accepted. The move makes Lukaku the most expensive player in the Nerazzurri’s history, and the third most expensive signing in Serie A history, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.
In a statement on their official website, Manchester United said: “Everybody would like to thank Romelu for his efforts at the club and pass on our best wishes for the future.”
Lukaku scored 42 goals in 96 games for the club over a two year period. However, his style of play meant he would not fit in Solskjaer’s system. The Norwegian is eager to see his side play fluid, free flowing football which is contrary to the target man approach the Belgian international thrives in.
It has been evident for a while now that Lukaku would not be at Old Trafford next season. Hence, it is quite baffling that the club have failed to sign a replacement. “Big Rom”‘s departure now puts a heavy burden on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to become United’s main source of goals. Should one of them get injured, it would see 17-year-old Mason Greenwood get thrust into the limelight. Despite his positive pre-season tour, it is an enormous amount of pressure for a youngster for a teenager to carry.
The club have made improvements to the squad in signing two of the best defenders in the league in Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Still, the club have allowed both Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera to leave and haven’t signed a single midfielder to replace them. Nemanja Matic is also on his last legs and looked very poor in pre-season. It means United go into the new season with a very good defense but overall, an arguably weaker squad than they had last season. Ed Woodward has failed yet again in the transfer window.