After losing his status as Manchester United’s first choice central striker last season, it doesn’t appear that Romelu Lukaku wants to stick around and fight for his place. With some reports suggesting he feels undermined by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the face of Marcus Rashford’s elevation to the number nine position, Lukaku could be set for a move away from Old Trafford this summer.
United boss Solskjaer has told the Belgian he wants him to stay and prove his worth to the club, but Lukaku doesn’t view himself as an understudy. That appears to be his role in this current United squad though, with Solskjaer wanting to bring more pace and dynamism to his side. Lukaku is no slouch, but his lack of versatility and cumbersome touch is the antithesis of how Solskjaer wants his team to play.
Having talked openly last season of his desire to play in Serie A, Lukaku appears to have instructed his agent to seal a move to Italy. Had he still been part of Mino Raiola’s stable, that deal probably would’ve already been sealed, while we’d certainly have heard a lot more about this particular transfer.
As it is, we know that Antonio Conte wants to build his new Inter Milan team around the imposing striker. Conte is a huge fan and wanted to sign Lukaku for Chelsea, but the Belgian headed to Manchester instead. Now, the Nerazzurri boss is hoping to finally get his man, with Inter the 2/7 favourites to sign Lukaku in this transfer window.
There hadn’t seemed to be any other suitors for the former Everton player, until Juventus reportedly threw their hat into the ring. This has been taken as a ruse in some quarters, with the Old Lady supposedly keen on taking the troublesome Mauro Icardi off Inter’s hands.
Lukaku would be the Argentine’s replacement at the San Siro, while he wouldn’t appear to be the most obvious strike partner for Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin. More likely is that the Bianconeri are trying to force Inter into making their move to get the transfer merry-go-round swinging. With that said, Juve are 9/2 to sign Lukaku during the current window, making them second favourites.
After that, the options are looking increasingly stretched. He’s out at 40/1 to return to Everton, but that looks like a waste of money. AC Milan are 33/1 to hijack their local rivals’ plans with a successful move, while Paris Saint-Germain are 20/1 in the face of what’s looking increasingly like a potential departure for Neymar this summer.
If you think Lukaku will stay at United, that’s priced at 6/1. Paddy Power, meanwhile, are poking a little fun at the Belgian once again by offering 500/1 on him joining either Staines Town, Havant and Waterlooville, Kilbarrack United or Finn Harps. Make of that what you will.