Three players Man United could target to replace Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku’s time in Manchester

Romelu Lukaku joined Manchester United in the summer of 2017, moving from Everton for a fee reported to be around £75 million.

Lukaku was a rather prolific goalscorer for the Toffees. In his final season on Merseyside, the Belgian netted a staggering 25 goals and assisted six in 36 league outings.

However, since his big-money move to Old Trafford, Lukaku has struggled to regain that exceptional form.

The 26-year-old’s debut season in Manchester saw him score 16 and assist seven in 34 league appearances.

Considering United are generally seen as a better side than Everton, you would have expected Lukaku’s goal count to rise in the league, not decline.

Lukaku had similar struggles throughout this past season.

In 42 games across all competitions, the Anderlecht youth product scored just 15 and assisted four.

Bernd Leno

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Bernd Leno of Arsenal reaches for the ball as Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United shoots during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Lukaku to Inter Milan?

After two seasons with the Red Devils, though, Lukaku could well be on his way to Italy.

Back in April of this year, Lukaku expressed a desire to play in Serie A.

Although, at the time, Lukaku did state that he was focused on United:

“Playing in Serie A is a dream, it would be really a dream.

“I hope to be able to play sooner or later, even if at the moment I am focused on the United.” As quoted by Sky Sports News.

However, since that interview, Lukaku has been pretty heavily linked with a move to Inter Milan.

Then, earlier this week, Lukaku’s agent would confirm that Inter are indeed trying to sign his client:

“Lukaku is a dream and is not easy to realize it… but yes, Inter are trying to get him. Romelu has expressed his wishes (to leave Man United)”

While Inter may struggle to afford the Belgian, who United reportedly want £75 million for, there is still a chance that Lukaku could depart United this summer.

That would leave just Marcus Rashford as a senior out and out striker at Man United.

So, United will probably need to purchase a replacement centre-forward,. As such, here are three potential options.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 30: Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford on December 30, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Ben Yedder

The first player Man United could bring in this summer is Sevilla forward, Wissam Ben Yedder.

Ben Yedder has already been tipped as a replacement for Lukaku in recent days.

The Manchester Evening News, citing France Football, claimed that Ben Yedder has a €40 million release clause, and that United would be willing to match it, should Lukaku leave.

€40 million does seem like somewhat of a bargain in today’s market, given the season that Ben Yedder has just had.

In the 28-year-old’s 2018/19 campaign, he would play 54 games across all competitions for Sevilla. In those 54 games, Ben Yedder scored an impressive 30 goals, also chipping in with 11 assists.

Moreover, as Sevilla finished 6th in La Liga last season, they do not have the lure of Champions League football, which is good for United, who will also be playing in the Europa League in the forthcoming campaign.

SEVILLE, SPAIN – MAY 18: Wissam Ben Yedder of Sevilla FC reacts during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Athletic Club at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 18, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images)

Sebastien Haller

The next player that Man United could target is Eintracht Frankfurt forward, Sebastien Haller.

At 6ft 2, Haller is a much more like for like signing to replace Lukaku, unlike Ben Yedder, who is just 5ft 7.

Haller has spent two years in Germany honing his craft, after completing his move from Dutch side, FC Utrecht.

The 25-year-old had a decent debut campaign for Frankfurt that saw him net 13 and assist seven in 36 ties.

Haller then improved his goalscoring form in the 2018/19 season. He would score 20 and assist 12 in 41 outings across all competitions.

Haller’s Bundesliga record was particularly impressive, with the forward having bagged 15 goals and nine assists in 29 fixtures.

However, with Frankfurt already losing one of their top strikers, Luka Jovic, to Real Madrid this summer, they may be opposed to letting go of another key forward.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – MAY 12: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally enhanced.) Sebastien Haller of Frankfurt looks on during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Commerzbank-Arena on May 12, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images)

Mauro Icardi

The final player that Manchester United could target to replace Romelu Lukaku is Mauro Icardi.

Should Lukaku move to Inter, the club may be keen to cash in on Icardi.

It has also been reported by reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano that Edin Dzeko is close to signing for Inter.

Should Antonio Conte’s side land both Lukaku and Dzeko, they would have four first-team strikers, including Icardi and Lautaro Martinez.

So, Man United may well be able to work Icardi into any potential deal for Lukaku.

Reports have already emerged that Inter Milan would be willing to offer Icardi plus cash for the Belgian.

Icardi made 36 appearances last season for Inter, scoring 17 and assisting 5 in that time.

 

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