Jose Mourinho has said he played no part in Manchester United’s negotiations for Romelu Lukaku but admitted he spoke to the Everton striker before the deal was completed in order to guarantee him about his position at the club.
Lukaku joined Man United for £75m and has officially become the club’s new No.9 following the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and fans are excited to see our new striker in action.
With 25 Premier League goals for Everton last year, Lukaku showed his pedigree and now has over 80 Premier League goals despite being 24 and Mourinho is hoping he will solve the goalscoring problems which plagued our league form last year.
Speaking about United’s move for Lukaku, Mourinho offered some insight into why he was keen to sign the Everton striker and how a phone call helped assure Lukaku about his future.
Mourinho said: “I didn’t negotiate, it was Mr Woodward who negotiated with Romelu, his agent and the Everton board, the only thing I did was to call him when the situation was almost there just to guarantee him that he would be an important player in my team.
“It’s quite a great experience the fact we worked together already for a few months and during the time when I was at Chelsea and when he was at Everton our relationship was always very close despite it not working well for us together.
“He’s intelligent, he’s polite, we kept the contact, the feeling and now we are back together in different moments and I have no doubts it is going to work.”
Mourinho then went into further detail about Lukaku and what his expectations were of the striker this season. Of course, banging in the goals is Lukaku’s main priority and Mourinho pointed towards the pressures of increased responsibility that come with joining a club like United.
Speaking about Lukaku’s impact, Mourinho added: “Hopefully goals, he’s the kind of player that everybody knows he’s a striker so we’re not speaking about a multi functional player or create doubts about positions on the pitch, he’s a striker and normally strikers score goals.
“The reason why he was so important and difficult to get is what he did in the Premier League because obviously there are other good strikers in football but the Premier League is a very specific habitat, a different habitat, normally they need some time to adapt and Lukaku plays in Premier League for the last four or five seasons.
“So now he comes to a club with a different responsibility than Everton or WBA, and I think he comes in the right moment because he is young but still has years of experience with the Premier League and Belgian national team, it’s his first Champions League competition which was his main motivation so the fact we qualified also played an important role.”
Lukaku is a class signing. The more I think about it, the more foolish I feel about deciding Alvaro Morata would have suited us more. Lukaku is best mates with Paul Pogba, worked under Mourinho before, is Premier League proven and an absolute tank – he’s perfect for what we needed.
Mourinho calling Lukaku before the deal was finalised is a nice touch and I’m sure Lukaku himself is equally as excited about starting his United career as the fans are.
We won’t get to see Lukaku against LA Galaxy on Saturday but with a game against Real Salt Lake only two later, it shouldn’t be too long before we see our new striker in action.