Manchester United have told Inter Milan they will need to pay more than £79m to sign Romelu Lukaku, increasing the prospect of the Belgian staying at Old Trafford.
Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio was in London yesterday to meet United officials but was left in no doubt that their current proposal would not be good enough as they struggle to meet the Premier League club’s valuation.
United paid Everton £79m for Lukaku in 2017 and Sky Sports News reports that United officials believe that figure is not an accurate valuation in the current market.
That is some way short of Inter’s initial plan of a loan followed by structured payments.
The sale of Mauro Icardi may yet help the Serie A club afford a deal, but there have been no offers for the Argentine and they are also struggling to offload Joao Mario, Dalbert Henrique and Radja Nainggolan.
Despite interest from Inter and Juventus no acceptable proposals are yet to emerge for Lukaku, meaning the possibility of staying at Old Trafford cannot be ruled out.
Lukaku, who is open to a move to Inter after feeling like he was mistreated last season, is currently with his Manchester United team mates in Perth having returned three days early from his summer break.
It is understood he has no desire to make public statements or create problems unlike other high-profile players this summer.
The striker has three years remaining on his current contract with United having an option to extend that by another year, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen for him to stay.