Manchester City are being linked with Inter striker Romelu Lukaku ahead of the summer and his potential arrival could spell bad news for Liam Delap and his chances of establishing himself in Pep Guardiola’s first team next season.
According to Italian news outlet Calcio Mercato, Guardiola is keen to bring the Belgian international to the Etihad ahead of next season as he sees him as someone who can replace the outgoing Sergio Aguero.
The former Everton and Manchester United man has enjoyed a superb campaign in Serie A, with his 21 league goals helping fire Antonio Conte’s side to the Scudetto this season.
The 27-year-old has 27 goals in all competitions this season and has also contributed 10 assists in the Italian top-flight, which has helped him average a superb 7.48 rating for his performances – which is comfortably the best of any Inter player this season, emphasising how important he was to the title win.
If he were to join Manchester City, they would undoubtedly have to pay a significant fee for the £81m-rated striker, although given that Guardiola has described him as “world-class” in the past, he would clearly love to sign him as City’s replacement for Aguero this summer.
Therefore, Lukaku would presumably compete with Gabriel Jesus as the starting striker in Guardiola’s side next season if he were to arrive, which would most likely leave Delap with very few first-team opportunities.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season with the academy sides, contributing 21 goals and four assists in 19 Premier League 2 appearances, which has led Guardiola to confirm that he will be training with the first team next season.
Delap, who has been labelled “fantastic” by football talent scout Jacek Kulig, is reportedly being targeted by a number of Premier League and Championship clubs as they look to bring him in on loan next season and whilst he will undoubtedly want to challenge at Man City, Lukaku’s potential arrival would surely limit his chances of becoming a regular.