Inter Milan will look to make a sizable profit if they are forced into selling their star striker Romelu Lukaku this summer.
The Belgium international was deemed surplus to requirement by Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 18 month ago amid doubts surrounding Lukaku’s suitability to the style of football the Norwegian wanted to implement.
Lukaku has subsequently re-established his reputation as one of European football’s most prolific strikers and has thrived under the guidance of Antonio Conte who had been desperate to sign the former Everton star during his Chelsea reign.
The 27-year-old has scored 42 goals in 62 Serie A appearances and is playing a pivotal role in powering Inter towards their first Italian league title in just over a decade.
Despite the team’s domestic progress under Conte, Inter are in dire financial straights with current owners Suning relying on a £213m loan from Goldman Sachs to keep the club running until the end of the season.
The sale of several prize assets appears to be an inevitable consequence of the grim outlook and with that in mind, according to Il Corriere dello Sport, Inter will demand €120m for Lukaku during the close season, representing a profit in the region of €46m.
While the majority of Europe’s glamour clubs are concentrating on finalising their pitches in a bid to entice Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona are said to be viewing Lukaku as a viable alternative.
City have coveted Lukaku in the past and are in the market for a new striker following Sergio Aguero’s decision to leave the club at the end of the season.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are giving consideration to bringing Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge having baulked at Dortmund’s initial £150m asking price for Haaland.
Mino Raiola, Haaland’s representative was filmed arriving in Barcelona yesterday with the striker’s father, Alf Inge, ahead of initial talks with the club’s newly re-elected president Joan Laporta.
The high-profile agent has also commenced talks with Real Madrid who are said to be the 20-year-old’s No.1 choice although he is keen to learn the club’s plan for his international teammate Martin Odegaard who is currently on loan at Arsenal.