Inter Milan have submitted a new and improved bid for Romelu Lukaku in the hope of finally signing the wantaway Manchester United frontman, PA understands.
The 26-year-old is hoping to leave Old Trafford for pastures new just two years after his big-money switch from Everton.
Having seen a swap deal with Juventus collapse due to Paulo Dybala’s reluctance to go the other way, Lukaku surprisingly started the week training with former club Anderlecht.
Those developments have seen Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri redouble their effort to sign Lukaku.
PA understands Inter had a €60 million (£54m) opening offer rejected last month and have now upped terms in an attempt to finally strike a deal with United.
Lukaku’s agent Federico Pastorello is understood to be in London to help get the move over the line, as well as discuss his client’s recent issues.
The Belgian looks to be at the point of no return with United, whose manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was understandably annoyed to see the striker’s Twitter video showing internal data of the players’ maximum speed in training.
Lukaku reportedly faces a fine for that despite swiftly deleting the post, plus another fine could be on its way for training away from United this week.
Eyebrows were raised on Monday when the striker was pictured training with boyhood club Anderlecht.
United’s players had a day off on Monday and it was reported that Lukaku was expected back on Tuesday with the rest of Solskjaer’s squad.
However, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws published a photo of the striker training with Anderlecht once again – a matter United declined to comment on when contacted by PA. Lukaku’s current whereabouts on Wednesday remained unconfirmed.
The player joined the Old Trafford giants on their pre-season tour of Australia and Asia but failed to feature in any of their four matches due to knocks. He was also absent for the friendlies against Kristiansund and AC Milan upon returning to Europe.
As the clock ticks down towards Thursday’s deadline, Premier League clubs have been busy adding to their squads ahead of the new season.
Here, we look at five of the best deals done so far.
Moise Kean (Everton)
Everton have been crying out for a striker since selling Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United two years ago – a void the £27million Cenk Tosun failed to fill. A reported £29million deal for Italy’s rising star looks a much better bet, and something of a coup for the Toffees.
Kean averaged a goal every 89 minutes for Juventus in Serie A last season, and, at 19, Marco Silva will hope the powerful, pacy forward will only improve over the course of his five-year contract.
Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)
At £54million Ndombele is a long way from the cheapest player on this list but Tottenham hope their import from Lyon will soon be seen as a bargain, and they have every chance of being right.
Still only 22, Ndombele already boasts an outstanding array of attributes and is close to being the complete midfielder. He promises to be a fixture in the middle of the park for Spurs for years to come.
Jay Rodriguez (Burnley)
They say you should never go back, but for an initial £5million potentially rising to £10million, Burnley’s deal for Jay Rodriguez is more than worth a punt.
The 30-year-old scored 22 goals for West Brom in the Championship last season, and will be hoping a return to his hometown club can help him replicate some of the best days of his career – and the sort of form which earned him an England cap in 2013.
Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal)
Arsenal fans have grown frustrated over the course of several transfer windows for their club’s perceived hesitancy in the market, so simply seeing them splurge £72million on a single player will be enough to get them excited.
No doubt they could use some reinforcement in defence too, but Pepe should have a big impact further up the pitch too given he scored 23 Ligue 1 goals (11 of them penalties) for Lille last season playing as a winger.
Tom Heaton (Aston Villa)
Villa boss Dean Smith has undertaken a huge overhaul of his squad since Villa earned promotion via the Championship play-offs, and goalkeeper was a clear priority. It is hard to imagine they could have done much better than to land Burnley’s captain in a deal worth a reported £8million.
Heaton returned from injury midway through last term to inspire a turnaround in the Clarets’ form as they climbed clear of the relegation zone. Capped three times by England and recalled to the squad for the Nations League finals earlier this summer, Heaton has a wealth of experience which can help Villa on their return to the top flight.
Provided by Press Association Sports
Manchester United have discussed a deal for Christian Eriksen, but the Tottenham playmaker is understood to favour a move to Spain.
PA understands that United explored a deal for Eriksen, whose contract with the north London club only has one season to run.
The Old Trafford giants have been long-time admirers of the 27-year-old, who indicated earlier in the summer that he was ready to “try something new”, but the Denmark international is believed to have set his sights on a switch to Real Madrid.
Discussions have come to an end so it looks unlikely that Eriksen will be heading to United, and time is running out if they are to add to their squad before Thursday’s 5pm deadline.
Talk of a move for former Spurs striker Fernando Llorente is understood to have come as a surprise to those behind the scenes at Old Trafford, while it remains to be seen how the collapse of a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku impacts any move for Juventus frontman Mario Mandzukic.
Wantaway striker Lukaku has dominated the agenda in recent days, just as he has for most of the summer.
Eyebrows were raised when he was pictured training with boyhood club Anderlecht at the start of the week.
United’s players had a day off on Monday, and the club declined to comment about Lukaku’s ongoing presence at the Belgian club on Tuesday amid reports they had expected him back.
Notwithstanding the Lukaku situation, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is understood to be largely happy with his squad.
Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James have all arrived over the summer, and the Norwegian has been impressed by the development of the club’s young players during pre-season.
Teenager Mason Greenwood is in line to feature against Chelsea after being omitted from the under-21s’ EFL Trophy opener at Rotherham on Tuesday – a match in which Angel Gomes, James Garner and Tahith Chong impressed.
The quartet will surely have roles to play in the first team this season, although PA understands loan moves are on the cards for some young players.
Questions remain over the future of experienced players like Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo, but ongoing transfer windows elsewhere in Europe could offer exit routes.
Rojo is among a surfeit of options at centre-back that only grew with United’s world-record acquisition of Harry Maguire.
Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof and the injured Eric Bailly can all play there, so too Chris Smalling.
PA understands Everton asked about taking long-serving defender Smalling on loan, only to be informed he was staying put.
Provided by Press Association Sports