Ciao, Lukaku!

It’s finally official: Romeo Lukaku is leaving Old Trafford for greener pasta.

Although Man United was ready to offer the Belgian to Juventus as a make-weight to secure the services of Argentinian Paolo Dybala, it’s finally confirmed that the aforementioned greener pasture is Inter Milan, where he will be reunited with Manager Antonio Conte for extended Italian pesto pasta lunches.

Manchester United are said to have rejected an bid of £54 million from Inter, and are understood to finally hold out for something closer to £73 million. Lukaku had been linked with a move to Serie A all summer. A row over his posting of confidential training data on social media, and transfer manoeuvres in media have led to a complete breakdown in his relationship with United boss Solskjaer.

In true tone-deaf modern footballer fashion, Lukaku has apparently asked UNITED to lower THEIR demands to around £65 million in order for HIM to seal a move to the Serie A outfit. Amazing hubris, one might say.

The Red Devils are understandably keen to recoup much of the £75 million they paid two years ago. That said, anything in the £65 to 68 million range is probably fair value for a distracted player who has decided that his future lies elsewhere.

Will United miss Romeo Lukakoo in the final third of the pitch? Perhaps not as much as some people think, to be honest.

He scored 42 goals in 96 games for the club, which is roughly one in every 2.3 games. Not bad, really, but not great either. Last season was not so gravy: he scored 15 in 45 games.

He’s an established Belgian international who should have clocked in a better ratio. Plus, this is Old Trafford we’re talking about. The standards are much higher than, say, Goodison Park or that Field…

Lukaku’s fans – all 27 of them – will argue that United’s brand of attacking play didn’t quite suit Lukaku’s style.

Well, maybe, but that statement also implies that the Belgian is probably a one-dimensional battering ram, rather than a bona-fide, top drawer striker/magician who can unlock the toughest defences across Europe.

Last season he was inconsistent at best, and his ball control was lamentable. He looked so bereft of confidence that he would have struggled to get past a well-drilled pub team in Shropshire.

He certainly didn’t quite live up to the billing thus far, and it was never so evident than towards the later part of last season.

Lukaku seems adamant that his future lies in cosmopolitan Milan, rather than the drab football city of Manchester. So determined is he to force his exit from Old Trafford that he went AWOL and trained with Anderlecht Under 18s instead of returning to United’s Carrington base.

Will he a bigger, roaring success in Italy? Well, who knows? Probably. Possibly. Definitely maybe.

But how many would bet their house on this?

Precisely. Twenty seven people. Ciao!