Manchester United are reportedly warming up to the idea of signing Mauro Icardi as part of a transfer deal that would see Romelu Lukaku join Inter Milan.
According to a report from the Express, Manchester United are considering the possibility of signing Argentine striker Mauro Icardi from Inter Milan in a part-exchange deal, that would see star man Romelu Lukaku move the other way.
Lukaku’s future at Manchester United is far from certain after the Belgian international fell behind Marcus Rashford in the pecking order over the course of last season. The 26-year-old has expressed a desire to play in Italy in the past and his recent comments regarding Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte have intensified speculations of a summer move.
Inter have made Lukaku their primary transfer target with Conte keen on signing the Belgian forward. The Italian had tried to lure the 26-year-old to Chelsea from Everton back in 2017, but was beaten by Manchester United. However, he has set his sights on the big Belgian forward once again.
Manchester United are open to the sale of their star striker, provided Inter are willing to pay £75 million for his services – the same amount that they had shelled out to sign him from Everton. Inter, though, are hoping to bring the price tag down, by offering former captain Mauro Icardi as part of the deal to sign Lukaku.
Icardi has established himself as one of Europe’s most potent centre-forwards during his time at Inter, but endured a difficult 2018-19 season. The Argentine superstar was stripped of club captaincy by the Nerazzurri in February, in the wake of some controversial comments made by his wife and agent Wanda Nara on an Italian TV show.
Post this incident, Icardi refused to take the field for Inter, which prompted the club to exile him from the first-team till April. In the end, the 26-year-old striker finished the 2018-19 campaign with a return of 17 goals and 5 assists from 37 appearances across all competitions.
Inter remain fixated on offloading Icardi this summer with the relationship between the club and the player completely deteriorating and were hoping to use him as a bargaining chip in their bid to sign Lukaku from Manchester United.
Manchester United were believed to be averse to such an arrangement and wanted a cash-only deal. However, as per the report from the Express, they are open to signing Icardi as part of the deal that would see Lukaku complete a transfer to Inter.
Lukaku’s potential departure would leave Manchester United with Marcus Rashford as the only senior striker. While Anthony Martial can play as the No. 9, the Frenchman could be offloaded this summer and even if he stays, he seems at home on the left flank, leaving Rashford and young Mason Greenwood as the only centre-forward options.
So, it makes sense that Manchester United would consider signing Icardi. The 26-year-old, despite his share of controversies, is a proven goalscorer in one of Europe’s top five leagues and would go a long way in addressing United’s problems in the final third. However, it remains to be seen if this potential swap deal sees the light of the day.