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‘I consider him an important player’ – Conte discusses interest in Lukaku

Antonio Conte has said that Romelu Lukaku is an ‘important’ part of his plans as he prepares for his first season in charge at Inter Milan.

The Manchester United striker has been strongly linked with a move the San Siro this summer, with the Belgian having already admitted his dream of playing in Serie A earlier this summer.

While it is thought that the former Everton forward has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford and would be allowed to leave, United are not making it easy for Inter Milan, who are essentially giving the Italians a taste of their own medicine.

The Nerazzurri made life difficult for United in their pursuit of Ivan Perisic over the last two summers, and it appears as though the Red Devils are getting some form of payback, demanding that their £75 million asking price for the 26-year-old is paid upfront.

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In order to comply with FFP regulations, Inter Milan are busy trying to offload players – namely Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan – and have already seen their offer of a £63 million, two-year loan deal knocked back earlier this month.

With United and Inter due to meet each other in a pre-season friendly in Singapore on Saturday, former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was unsurprisingly asked about his interest in Lukaku.

“Lukaku is a Man Utd player. This is the reality,” Conte said in the pre-match press conference.

“You know I like this player – I tried to bring him in at Chelsea. But at this moment we are talking about a player from another club.

“I consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement. At the same time, there is a market, we know very well our situation.”

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that Lukaku would miss the game against his suitors, with the striker having picked up one of those convenient sounding injuries that always seem to crop up amid transfer speculation.

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See also – Five of the Premier League’s most drawn out transfer sagas