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Conte eyes Lukaku after taking Inter reins

 

Fresh face: Antonio Conte
Fresh face: Antonio Conte

By Miguel Delaney

Antonio Conte has told the Inter Milan hierarchy that Romelu Lukaku is a priority signing, and it is understood the potential purchase was part of his negotiations for the new managerial job at the San Siro.

The Italian was yesterday confirmed as the newly-wealthy Serie A club's new coach, marking a return to football a year after leaving Chelsea amid a lot of success but also some acrimony.

Those difficulties stemmed from the summer of 2017, when Conte wanted to strengthen the then-champions by replacing Diego Costa with Lukaku.

A deal could not be done due to difficulties with the player's agent Mino Raiola - who Chelsea still refuse to work with - and he ended up at Manchester United, when many felt Stamford Bridge was Lukaku's preference.

Conte now wants to address this by making the Belgian one of his major signings in what is likely to be an assertive summer from Inter. United would be open to negotiation, especially as Lukaku's status as a starter has slipped, and they want to improve in other areas.

A swap deal has been mooted, but United would prefer Milan Skriniar and cash rather than Jose Mourinho target Ivan Perisic.

Inter had been interested in Alexis Sanchez but it is likely they will only do one of the deals.

Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Green has announced his retirement.

The former England ace had been at Stamford Bridge for a year but did not make an appearance, although was in Baku for Wednesday's 4-1 Europa League final win over Arsenal.

He said: "Following an incredible evening in Baku and after a 23-year career spanning three decades, I've decided now is the right time to announce my retirement from professional football."

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