Inter Milan want to sign Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Conte confirms: 'You know very well that I like him'

Author: The Telegraph
Romelu Lukaku is out of favour at Manchester United and looking for a route out of the club

Antonio Conte, the Inter Milan coach, has confirmed his desire to sign Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United.

Inter remain locked in talks with United over the Belgium striker but have yet to cough up the cash.

Lukaku has set his sights on a move to Inter and cut a disconsolate figure on Friday as he sat out training with a reputed injury.

Inter are due to face United in the International Champions Cup in Singapore on Saturday and, speaking ahead of the game, Conte confirmed his interest in Lukaku but stopped short of saying he was becoming frustrated by the wait.

“I think frustrated is a big word,” the former Chelsea manager said. “Lukaku is United’s 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 tried to bring him to Chelsea. I think today Lukaku is a player with United. This is the reality.

“I think that in this moment if you’re talking about a player from another club it’s right to not talk about Lukaku because we have great respect for United.

 
Conte was talking ahead of Inter's pre-season friendly against United in Singapore CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

“As I said before, I like this player and consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement but at the same [time] there is a transfer market. We know very well which is our situation at the moment and we will see what happens but for now Lukaku is a United player.”

Inter are thought to be ready to offer United a package worth about £67 million by the end of this week but the Manchester club are looking for closer to £90 million.

Having paid an initial £75 million for Lukaku and with Everton due an additional £5 million windfall if he is sold this summer, United are believed to be holding out for a profit on the 26-year-old.

Conte says Mauro Icard has no future under him at Inter CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Inter need to offload Mauro Icardi to help fund a deal and Conte confirmed the Argentina striker - who has not travelled to Asia for the club’s tour - has no future under him.

“The situation is very clear, the club was very clear that Icardi is out of Inter’s project. This is the reality,” Conte said.

Conte is also hoping to sign Eden Dzeko from Roma and says his need for a striker is pressing.

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“For sure it’s not easy to play without a striker but the market is open so there is still a process for players to come in and out,” the Inter coach said. “It’s not easy to play against teams like Juventus and Manchester United without strikers.

“I’m happy to be at an ambitious club like Inter and I want to get better.”