Manchester City were heavily linked with Romelu Lukaku earlier in the transfer window but the Belgian striker has now completed a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea, which will be a cause of frustration for Pep Guardiola if City cannot complete a move for Harry Kane this summer.
After a sensational season with Inter, City were said to be keen on signing Lukaku this summer as a replacement for the departing Sergio Aguero, but they seemingly ended their interest when the 28-year-old suggested that he would be staying with the Serie A champions.
However, a number of factors – including Antonio Conte’s resignation, Inter’s dreadful financial problems and City’s pursuit of Kane – have allowed Chelsea to bring in the Belgian relatively unchallenged in a deal worth £97.5m.
Given that City have already seen a bid of £100m rejected for Kane, with their first game of the Premier League just two days away, you could argue that they should have reignited their interest in Lukaku once it became clear that Inter were keen to sell him, as he would’ve been a cheaper, more attainable alternative to the England captain.
As it stands, Guardiola’s side risk going into the new season with just Gabriel Jesus and Liam Delap as their natural centre-forward options, and you worry that their current squad might not have enough attacking depth to help them retain the Premier League title this season when you consider the quality signings that the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have made this summer.
Lukaku certainly could’ve been the clinical striker that City are missing, as his form during his time at Inter emphasises that he is a very different prospect to the man who left Manchester United in 2019.
Last season saw the Belgium international contribute an impressive 24 goals and 11 assists in just 36 Serie A appearances, averaging a superb 7.47 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Considering that Guardiola labelled Lukaku “world-class” during his time at Manchester United, and he has further improved as a player since then, the Spaniard would surely have loved to have in his City squad for next season. He will be frustrated that Chelsea have managed to sign the Belgian, especially if a deal for Kane cannot be completed in this transfer window.