Inter transfers: How could Man Utd’s Onana chase see Lukaku remain with the Nerazzurri this summer?

Manchester United are rapidly closing in on Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana, which could potentially help extend Romelu Lukaku's time with the Nerazzurri.

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The Serie A transfer window is really getting into the swing of things now with some big deals, both in and out of the Italian top flight, starting to get done. One of the major names is Sandro Tonali, although his move to Newcastle came with little saga.

Two names that have been mentioned repeatedly both coming into the window and during it are Inter duo Andre Onana and Romelu Lukaku. It turns out, their futures could be very closely linked.

Onana is a major target for Premier League side Manchester United, whilst Lukaku is now heading back to Chelsea and in search of a new club given he is seemingly out of the project in West London.

Man Utd close to signing Inter’s Onana

Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Andre Onana. [@Inter_en]

As time goes by, it looks more and more likely that Man United are going to sign Onana. Erik ten Hag is set to lose his number one goalkeeper as David De Gea’s contract is expiring and talks for an extension seem to have hit an impasse.

They have to buy a goalkeeper in that eventually and Onana suits their needs. Also, Ten Hag’s spell as Ajax coach almost entirely encompassed Onana’s time at Ajax, so the pair are already very familiar with each other.

There were expectations that a formal bid would arrive for Onana from Man United on Friday evening but as can often be the case with the Premier League side, that didn’t arrive.

Alfredo Pedulla has reported that an offer of €45-48 million along with bonuses to take it above €50m is expected, whilst Inter want a base payment of €50m with some easily attainable bonuses on top. The gap is clearly small, so a deal seems very possible in the near future.

How does Onana influence Lukaku’s future?

Inter’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates. [@Inter_en]

In simple terms, the €50 million or so that Inter would expect to get from the sale of Onana can help to bring Romelu Lukaku permanently back to Inter, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He is not wanted at Chelsea but they are not willing to loan him out again.

A permanent deal is needed and it is certainly clear that he would like to stay at Inter. The Nerazzurri have a few goalkeeping options that are cheap replacements, the main one being Anatoliy Trubin from Shakhtar Donetsk. The bulk of the Onana money could go to the Lukaku deal, saving the need to fork out for a more expensive striker who has not performed for Inter before.

The fact that these reports exist suggests that Inter were not put off by the bad loan season he has just had at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. His campaign was marred by a serious injury and then his return, whilst very solid, was not exactly explosive. He ended the season on 14 goals, but it is not the figure Inter wanted.

They must feel that now he is back to fitness, he can roughly double that tally in 2023/24 if they can bring him back to the club on a permanent deal. The focus right now, though, is on Onana’s future.

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