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Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku only an Inter player because of 'Dybala's failure to join Man Utd', claims agent

21:29 GMT+3 22/03/2020
romelu lukaku - cropped
If the Bianconeri strikers' rumoured move to Old Trafford gone through, the Belgian would have headed the other way and not to Milan

Romelu Lukaku might have been playing for Juventus rather than Inter had the Bianconeri sold Paulo Dybala to Manchester United, according to the Belgium international's agent.

Lukaku left United for Inter in a €65million deal in August and went on to score 17 Serie A goals before the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the former Chelsea and Everton striker could have instead been turning out for title rivals Juve this term.

Lukaku's agent Federico Pastorello claims Dybala's departure would have made room for the 26-year-old in Turin.

Dybala was linked with both United and Tottenham but instead stayed at Juve, netting seven times in the league so far in 2019-20 - including strikes in a pair of precious victories over Inter.

Pastorello told Sky Sport Italia: "If Lukaku is wearing the Inter shirt today, it's only because of Paulo Dybala's failure to join Manchester United."

However, Lukaku's representative also suggested the player felt a warmer welcome at Inter than he would have expected with Juve.

"Romelu wanted to leave the Premier League and move to a club where he felt loved," Pastorello said.

"He immediately noticed the affection and warmth of the Inter fans compared to those of Juve, and this made the difference.

"Lukaku's arrival at Juve would have pleased many fans, but for Inter his engagement instead represented a turning point after the arrival of Antonio Conte, the intention to try to start a winning cycle.

"He perceived this immediately, even on social media. He felt wanted at Inter. Conte put a lot of pressure on the club to have the player."

Lukaku himself said he was close to joining Juventus, but that he’d always wanted link up with Inter coach Antonio Conte in a video interview with former Arsenal legend Ian Wright.

"I was close, really close [to joining Juve], but my mind was always set on Inter and the manager," the striker said.

Lukaku is currently under quarantine restriction after coming into contact with Daniele Rugani in the Serie A match between Juve and Inter.

Rugani subsequently tested positive for coronavirus, as has Dybala.