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.
Romelu Lukaku has completed his move to Internazionale after weeks of pushing for a departure from Manchester United.
The Serie A club had a €60m (£54m) offer rejected last month and redoubled their efforts after Paulo Dybala’s prohibitive demands thwarted a potential swap deal involving Lukaku between United and Juventus. It is understood Inter will pay up to €80m (£73.75m) for the striker and a sell-on clause has been inserted in the deal.
The Belgian, who scored 42 goals in 96 appearances for United, has signed a contract until 2024 at San Siro. “Inter were the only club I wanted because Inter is not for everyone,” Lukaku said upon signing. “I’m here to bring the Nerazzurri back to the top.”
Having raised eyebrows and irked United by starting the week training at former club Anderlecht in Belgium, the 26-year-old arrived in Milan overnight to complete paperwork and a medical. Lukaku’s agent, Federico Pastorello, had flown into London on Wednesday to push through his client’s exit and end a difficult and at times fractious process.
The player has agreed to a five-year deal with Inter worth around £300,000 a week. Conte is a long-time admirer of Lukaku and wanted to sign the Belgian when at Chelsea and will be delighted to have got his man.
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 in favor of England striker Marcus Rashford by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
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’s United career:
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.
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.
However, 26% of his United goals – 11 out of 42 – came in the first two months of his Old Trafford career.
It has been a mixed transfer summer for United. They finished sixth in the Premier League last season, a demoralizing 32 points behind the champions, Manchester City, but have been able to add the central defender Harry Maguire from Leicester for £80m, Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for an initial £45m as well as Daniel James from Swansea for £15m in this window.