Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed interest from Manchester City in his services, with the Blues still reeling from his explosive interview.
Lukaku has sent shockwaves around football following an interview with Sky Italia in which he confirmed he was unhappy at Chelsea and his reluctance to leave Inter Milan after winning the Scudetto last season. In the interview, Lukaku confirmed that Man City had approached him – but not only was he was too happy in Serie A to leave, he was still scarred from playing for Manchester United.
"After the first year, I turned down an offer from Manchester City that was higher than Chelsea’s current one, because I didn’t want to," Lukaku said.
"It was not the time, it was the first year, I wanted to do something good for Inter because they saved my career. I was in a deep hole at Manchester United, things weren't going well. I was a big investment for Inter and we did great things together."
After Lukaku lit the touch-paper at Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel was keen to throw water on the flames of the situation and the reports now coming out of west London are that the striker will not be leaving. Still, with City's search for a new striker having met a dead end in the summer, links with the Belgian will likely resurface.
City are 10 points clear at the top of the league but if Chelsea are looking to cut ties with their £100m man quickly – or even eye some kind of swap deal – a move could be made in January, theoretically. Raheem Sterling has been linked with an Etihad exit and might be an option to move in the opposite direction.
It may be, however, that reports of Lukaku remaining at the Blues are most likely – at least this month. City, too, seem to have moved on.
Pep Guardiola's team are thriving without a traditional no.9, using ball-to-feet players across the frontline in a kind of 4-2-4 in possession. City have opted with players without aerial presence or the ability to run in behind as forwards – two of Lukaku's strengths.
With both Phil Foden and Jack Grealish facing disciplinary action in recent weeks, it's perhaps unlikely that Guardiola would want to add another player currently on a naughty step elsewhere – and given his mixed history of working with traditional no.9s, maybe the Catalan will opt for other players to challenge for a spot up top.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.
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