Concluding a long standing transfer saga, Inter Milan have signed Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United for a club record fee of 80m euros (£74m) on a five-year deal on the transfer deadline day in England.
Lukaku, a known prolific striker scored 42 goals in Red Devils jersey in just 96 games but leaves Old Trafford just two years after his £75m move from Everton.
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) August 8, 2019
Lukaku, Inter coach Antonio Conte’s long term target becomes the third most expensive signing by a Serie A club after the Juventus duo of Cristiano Ronaldo (£99.2m) and Gonzalo Higuain (£75.3m).
“Inter were the only club I wanted,” said Lukaku.
“I’m here to bring the Nerazzurri back to the top.”
In a statement, 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 15 goals in 45 games for United last season but was often overlooked by newly appointed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who favored England striker Marcus Rashford in the perking order.
👍 | THUMBS UP!
Not a bad Thursday, right #InterFans? 😉
— Inter (@Inter_en) August 8, 2019
He did not feature in any of United’s pre-season games, with Solskjaer saying the player had an ankle injury.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said earlier this summer Lukaku “had to leave” the Premier League club, with Inter boss Antonio Conte indicating the ex-Blues striker was his top transfer priority.
Lukaku moved to United from Everton in 2017 and at the time was only the fourth player to score 80 goals in the Premier League before turning 24 – after Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney.
100 – Romelu Lukaku is the fifth-youngest player to reach 100 goals in the Premier League (24y 322d), as well as the youngest non-English player to achieve this milestone. Force. pic.twitter.com/nVYhhBsWr9
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 8, 2019
In his debut season, the Belgian became one of only 11 United players to score 25 goals or more in a campaign since 1992-93. Cantona, Andy Cole and current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (25 each) are among the strikers who never matched Lukaku’s 27-goal tally in a United campaign.
Lukaku’s departure leaves United with just three established forwards – Rashford, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez – in addition to youngsters Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong.
United have spent a massive £140m this summer on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James. They will start their new Premier League campaign against Chelsea on Sunday.