Manchester City’s hopes of signing Inter striker Romelu Lukaku this summer appear to be over after he confirmed he would be staying with the Serie A champions.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been regularly linked with the Belgian forward ahead of the summer transfer window after his superb season with the Nerazzurri, with his goals a key factor in Inter winning the Scudetto.
Despite the title win, the Italian giants are in serious financial trouble and it seems likely that plenty of first team players will depart the San Siro this summer, with title-winning manager Antonio Conte having already left.
However, Lukaku confirmed recently that he would be staying with Inter this summer, saying: “I am staying. I’ve already had contact with the man who will become our new manager.
“Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet. It was a very positive conversation. There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning Serie A]. I feel good at Inter.”
The former Manchester United man is clearly settled at Inter, having contributed an impressive 64 goals and 16 assists in just 95 appearances for the Serie A side since his switch from Old Trafford, whilst he also seems to have been won over by newly-appointed manager Simone Inzaghi.
Although City enjoyed a superb campaign which saw them taste success in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, amid falling short in the FA Cup semi-final and Champions League final, it could definitely be argued that Guardiola’s side lacked a natural goalscorer such as Lukaku.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan topped the scoring charts in the top flight with just 13 last season, with main striking options Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero managing only 13 between them in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.
Considering that the Argentine has now joined Barcelona following the expiry of his contract, City definitely need a striker ahead of next season, as there were several games last term where they lacked a physical presence and poacher inside the box.
Guardiola is certainly a big fan of the £90m-rated Lukaku, too, having dubbed him “world class” in 2018, and his superb performances with Inter suggest that he could have been a superb addition at the Etihad this summer.
Therefore, it is a huge transfer blow for City that he will seemingly be staying at Inter next season, and City will have to turn their attentions elsewhere if they want a top-class goalscorer to replace Aguero.