Lukaku transfer stunner: Jose Mourinho to battle Antonio Conte for £70m star

Lukaku transfer stunner: Jose Mourinho to battle Antonio Conte for £70m star

Lukaku transfer stunner: Jose Mourinho to battle Antonio Conte for £70m star

JOSE MOURINHO is gearing up for a £70million fight with former club Chelsea to sign Romelu Lukaku.

Despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic dropping a big hint that he will stay with  for a second season,  needs a long-term replacement for the veteran Swede and Lukaku fits the bill.

Mourinho sold the Belgium striker, who is 24 in May, to  during his second spell as  boss because he was surplus to requirements but now wants to take him to Old Trafford along with long-term target Antoine Griezmann to help solve United's goal shortage.

Lukaku, the Premier League's leading scorer this season, recently rejected the chance of signing a new contract that would have made him Everton's highest-ever paid player and revealed his intention to join a Champions League club.

 

And his Everton team-mate and close pal Yannick Bolasie has admitted the Merseyside club will not be able to stop the coveted star from leaving.

LUKAT || Jose Mourinho to battle Antonio Conte for £70m star
LUKAT || Jose Mourinho to battle Antonio Conte for £70m star

I speak to Rom every day and when a man has his plan, he has his plan.

You can't really stop that.

Players have ambition, as players they want to play in the highest team possible. And Rom for me right now, at his age, is a world-class striker and there aren't many about like him.

Yannick Bolasie

Romelu Lukaku

Mourinho faces competition however from Chelsea who are preparing a £70m bid, which could include Michy Batshuayi going the other way, to re-sign Lukaku, who has scored 100 goals in 195 games for West Brom and Everton since he first left Stamford Bridge on loan in 2013.

Ibrahimovic, 35, says he is in talks about triggering the option for a second season but admitted he doesn't like to leave a club with "unfinished business", a remark interpreted as wanting to help Mourinho win the Premier League next season.

 

When I go into something I put my head 200 per cent into it.

I go in, I go for the kill and I go out. When I go out there is no complaints, that's what I do. I never leave a job unfinished.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Meanwhile, Mourinho has criticised the scheduling of international friendlies during the season after confirming that centre-back pair Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will miss Saturday's clash with West Brom after they were both injured on England duty.

Antonio Conte

Jones was injured in a training-ground collision with Smalling, who then picked up a knee problem in the friendly with Germany.

With Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera both suspended and Paul Pogba out with a hamstring problem, Mourinho admitted United are "in a bit of trouble" ahead of the game.

He said: "I am totally against the friendly matches. The friendly matches for the national team only makes sense before the final phases, so a couple of weeks before the Euros or the World Cup.

"But mid-season friendlies, mixed with qualification matches, makes no sense. On top of that the matches are not really big matches so I'm not a big fan but one day I will be there [an international manager] so I can't be a big critic."

 

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