Manchester United are set to receive a sizeable cash windfall if Romelu Lukaku decides to leave the club over the summer, according to reports.
The Belgian striker spent two seasons at Old Trafford between 2017 and 2019 before joining the Serie A club for a fee of £73.7m.
However, following the departure of manager Antonio Conte, with whom Lukaku had a strong relationship, there is speculation surrounding the Belgian’s future.
According to Manchester Evening News, United will receive a decent sum this summer if Lukaku leaves due to the club inserting a sell-on clause into the terms of the deal that saw him join Inter in 2019.
The exact amount, it should be said, has not been revealed, but if the sell-on clause – like many of them – is locked at 10%, that would mean £7m landing in United’s bank account without anyone in Manchester lifting a finger.
It could potentially be more. United, as the report points out, added a 25% sell-on clause into the contract of Wilfried Zaha when he rejoined Crystal Palace.
And Lukaku, for obvious reasons, would sell for a lot more than Zaha if he does indeed decide to depart this summer.
The striker has rediscovered the best of his form under Conte, netting 30 goals in all competitions over the 2020-21 season as Inter romped to their first Serie A title in over a decade.
Which begs the question: why would Lukaku want to leave Inter? Why start over somewhere else when the going is good in Italy?
The simple answer is money. Inter don’t have very much of it – relatively speaking – and if they are going to add fresh blood this summer, as their new manager – whoever it may be – will want to do, Lukaku’s juicy £80m pricetag looks like the best way to achieve that end.
It’s a merciless business, the transfer market – especially during COVID times. Conte is said to have left Inter because the club could not give him the resources he needs to take his team to the next level.
Perhaps Lukaku is thinking something similar. Where next for this Inter team? How to stave off the grim slide that happens to teams who rise higher than they expected and now need extra power to maintain where they are?