Monday August 26 2019
Conte: 'That's why we wanted Lukaku'

Antonio Conte said “Romelu Lukaku showed why we tried so hard to sign him” and referred to Mauro Icardi as a former Inter player.

The Coach spoke to Sky Sport Italia after a 4-0 victory over Lecce, which saw new signing Lukaku on target on his Serie A debut after his hard-fought move from Manchester United.

“Let’s not forget Lukaku cost €65m to be paid over five years, so when people talk about big money spent, it wasn’t even that much,” insisted Conte.

“Tonight, Lukaku showed why we tried so hard to sign him.”

Icardi was not even included in the squad this evening and did not attend the Serie A opener, but former players Ivan Perisic and Keita Balde Diao were in the stands as guests.

Wanda Nara, the striker’s wife and agent, said yesterday that he would continue to turn down every option other than remaining with Inter.

“(Director Beppe) Marotta gave the response. I think he was very clear,” replied Conte.

“Let’s not forget we released three players who were key figures for Inter last season: Perisic, Nainggolan and Icardi is in that situation. So the transfer market was not so much reinforcements as replacing other players.”

The fact Conte included Icardi in the list of players who have already left the club is telling.

Time is running out, as it’s unlikely Napoli will wait beyond Tuesday if Icardi doesn’t agree to begin negotiations.