Romelu Lukaku has completed his big-money switch to Inter Milan after weeks of pushing for a Manchester United exit.
It is just two years since the Belgium striker turned down a move to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea to leave Everton for Old Trafford in a deal worth an initial €75 million.
But Lukaku’s desire to leave United for pastures new has been clear all summer and Inter, where Conte is now head coach, finally completed a deal for the wantaway forward hours before the Premier League transfer window closed.
The Serie A side saw a €60 million offer rebuffed last month and redoubled their efforts after Paulo Dybala’s prohibitive demands thwarted a potential swap deal involving Lukaku between United and Juventus.
PA understands Inter will pay up to 80m euros (£73.75m) for Lukaku and a sell-on clause has been inserted in the deal.
The striker, who scored 42 goals in 96 appearances for United, has signed a contract until 2024 at San Siro.
“Inter were the only club I wanted, because Inter is Not For Everyone,” Lukaku said upon signing. “I’m here to bring the Nerazzurri back to the top.”
Having raised eyebrows and irked United by starting the week training at former club Anderlecht in Belgium, the 26-year-old arrived in Milan overnight to complete paperwork and a medical.
Lukaku’s agent Federico Pastorello had flown into London on Wednesday to push through his client’s exit and end a rather uncomfortable – and at times unsavoury – process.
Despite going on the pre-season tour of Australia and Asia, knocks prevented the striker from appearing in any of United’s four friendly matches.
Lukaku also missed the matches against Kristiansund and AC Milan upon their return to Europe.
The ex-Chelsea and West Brom forward got under the skin of Solskjaer ahead of that final friendly when posting on Twitter a video showing internal data of United players’ maximum speed in training. The message was swiftly deleted.
Asked about that following the AC Milan game in Cardiff, Solskjaer said: “I’ve spoken to Rom, yeah, to put it that way. And that’s case closed.”