Striker Off To Inter
Romelu Lukaku’s exit was the only piece of transfer business done by Manchester United on deadline day.
The Belgium international left Old Trafford for Inter Milan for a fee that could rise to as much as £76.5 million. Inter will pay an initial €65 million (£59.9 million) with a further €10 million (£9.2 million) is payable in performance-related add-ons and bonuses. The Serie A side will have to pay the Red Devils up to €8 million (£7.3 million) if and when Lukaku is sold.
“I just wanted Inter, because Inter is Not For Everyone. I am here to bring the Nerazzurri back to victory,” Lukaku wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening.
He added: “To everyone involved with Manchester United – from the board to the manager and his staff, the players, and all the fans. Thank you and good luck for the future.”
However, it was a deadline day marked by a lack of activity at Manchester United. There was no new striker signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and that’s being taken as a vote of confidence in 17-year-old Mason Greenwood who has impressed during the club’s pre-season schedule.
Reports early on Thursday claimed that Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams and Juventus front-man Mario Mandzukic were both targets for United. While Williams was offered to the Red Devils they chose not to trigger his release clause of just under £82 million.
Mandzukic was always an odd target give his age – he is 33. United tend to shy away from players over the age of 30 except when they are available on a free transfer and sign one-year deals. The prospect of a £15 million transfer fee and a three-year contract always looked fanciful.
There was no revival of Paulo Dybala’s proposed move to United which was scuppered last weekend by his personal terms. The Argentine was linked with a deadline-day switch to Tottenham Hotspur and the two clubs agreed a fee of £62 million. But Dybala demanded £350,000 a week – a wage Spurs were never going to pay. He remains at Juventus although the Serie A transfer window runs to the end of the month.