Manchester United have rejected Inter Milan’s €60 million euros offer for Romelu Lukaku, PA understands.
Just two years after joining the Old Trafford giants, the 26-year-old is keen to move onto pastures new and Antonio Conte is keen to bring the striker to Serie A.
United received the bid from Inter two days ago, which was rejected out of hand as it falls well short of their valuation.
The two clubs meet for an International Champions Cup clash in Singapore on Saturday, but Lukaku will watch from the sidelines due to his latest knock.
On the eve of the match, Inter head coach Conte confirmed his desire to sign a player he missed out on when Chelsea boss in 2017.
“I think frustrated is a big word,” he said in English when asked about the inability to complete a deal.
“Lukaku is a United player and this is the reality. You know very well that I like this player, but also in the past when I was Chelsea’s coach and I tried to bring him to Chelsea.
“But I repeat, today Lukaku is a player of United and this is the reality and this is the truth.”
Pushed on Inter’s interest in him, Conte said: “I think that at this moment, I repeat, we’re talking about a player of another club.
“For this reason, I think that it’s right (we) don’t talk about Lukaku because I have great respect for United.
“As I said before, for sure, I like this player and I consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement. But, at the same time, there is a market, a transfer market.
“We know very well which is our situation at this moment. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens but now, for sure, Lukaku is a United player.”
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane commented on Gareth Bale’s future with the club on Friday.
The Frenchman maintained that Bale remains a Madrid player but ended the discussion saying ‘we’ll see what happens’.
Zidane was speaking after his team arrived in Houston for their pre-season tour of America.
“It [Bale situation] is not a problem, he has a contract,” the Madrid boss said.
“He is here, he will spend his time with us. I have respect for all of my players. Gareth is with us, he is a Real Madrid player and we’re going to see what happens.”
Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.
We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.
Celta Vigo -> €25m -> Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich are keen on signing Brais Mendez from Celta Vigo as an alternative to Leroy Sane, according to kicker.
Why it will happen: Bayern only have two out-and-out wingers in their first team squad this season in Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman. Following the departures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, they’re desperate for reinforcements in that department. Mendez would be an able and affordable back-up option, perhaps even a place holder until they can land a superstar in the coming windows.
Why it won’t happen: It feels as if Bayern’s approach for the Spaniard is more a case of them covering their bases rather than a genuine desire to add him to their roster. Mendez has been good for Celta Vigo and is clearly technically gifted but is nowhere near the quality of Sane. With Ajax star Hakim Ziyech in the shop window, surely Bayern opt for him if the German remains at City?
Transfer Predictor: 2/10
Juventus -> €30m -> Arsenal
Juventus are looking to sell teenage striker Moise Kean with Arsenal interested, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.
Why it will happen: Kean is bound to be fairly low down the pecking order for a spot in Juventus’ front three. However, given the promise he showed last season, playing time is integral to his development and he should be afforded plenty of that at Arsenal who are struggling in their efforts to sign Wilfried Zaha. Kean represents an affordable alternative for the financially limited Gunners and possibly one just as effective. A first refusal clause for Juventus in the deal would play nicely into the hands of the Serie A champions. It’s a win-win.
Why it won’t happen: Everton are reportedly targeting the Italian forward as well and could quite easily place a higher bid than Arsenal. Meanwhile, Kean could also decide to hold out for an offer from a team in the Champions League this season.
Transfer Predictor: 7/10
GIOVANI LO CELSO
Real Betis -> €68m -> Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham have submitted a €68m offer for Giovani Lo Celso, according to El Transistor.
Why it will happen: Spurs are eager to secure the services of the Argentine perhaps in anticipation of Christian Eriksen’s departure. With Paul Pogba looking increasingly likely to stay at Manchester United, Real Madrid could turn to the Dane instead. Having already added Tanguy Ndombele to their ranks, Lo Celso would ensure they remain well stocked in midfield. Having triggered their option to buy the midfielder from Paris Saint-Germain for just €22m following a successful loan spell last season, Betis stand a chance to make a huge profit.
Why it won’t happen: If Eriksen does a U-turn and decides he would rather remain at Tottenham, the club may retract their interest in Lo Celso. Alternatively, Betis may try to extract more money from Spurs only to see negotiations collapse.
Transfer Predictor: 8/10