Romelu Lukaku’s future seems to be far away from Manchester United, and his national team boss is urging the Red Devils to let the striker move on this summer.
In a statement released to our partners Sky Sports, Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez suggested that Lukaku and United need to come to an agreement soon and that he “has to leave United” this summer.
The 26-year-old has spoken glowingly about Antonio Conte, who has just take over as boss of Inter Milan, and also about Serie A in general as he’s been linked with a $75 million move to Inter.
“Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United need to find the right solution for both parties. If United and Rom are happy with a change, it will be a matter of finding the right club and challenge for Rom,” Martinez said. “Romelu is under contract with Manchester United, and the club will make the decision on his future. If the future is for Romelu to have a big role at Manchester United, Romelu will be ready to fulfill it.”
Lukaku’s future is more than a little up in the air and his agent Federico Pastorello has previously said his future would be sorted by the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
And here we are.
Despite a poor 2018-19 campaign where he struggled with confidence and found himself out of the team under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Lukaku’s record since joining United from Everton in 2017 for $90 million isn’t that bad.
He’s scored 42 goals in 96 games in all competitions, which is just under the hallowed ratio all strikers aim for of a goal every other game. But Lukaku’s hold-up play and the fact he has missed big chances for United have seen fans turn on him, plus the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are better suited to the counter-attacking style Solskjaer prefers.
United will want to get a large chunk of the $90 million that paid Everton for Lukaku back if they do sell him, but that’s unlikely given his poor second half of last season. His transfer value will drop even further if, as expected, he isn’t one of the main men for Solskjaer early in the upcoming season.
Like the situation with Paul Pogba, now is the best time for everyone involved for Lukaku to move on.