Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku has spoken about why he snubbed Chelsea to join Manchester United two years ago and indicated that it was a phone call from Jose Mourinho which convinced him to join the Red Devils.
The Belgian international shone during the 2016/17 season as he went on to score 25 goals in the Premier League from 37 games and this led to the likes of United and Chelsea competing for his signature.
Despite Chelsea having been heavily linked with his signature during the summer of 2017, he ended up eventually joining United for an initial fee of £75 million.
“I was gone, I was going to Chelsea,” Lukaku said on the Josh Hart podcast.
“I was looking for an apartment, an apartment for my mum to stay in close to the practice facility, so I don’t have to drive too far. And then Man U came.
“At Man U everybody was… I felt the trust more, where everybody wanted me to be there and that’s the true story.
“People say ‘Yeah, my agent (Mino Raiola)’ and stuff like that – my former agent at the time – he did his job, he got the best opportunity for me, but the people wanted me the most and that was Man U. Everybody was wanting me. There was no doubting.
“They came and they told me – I was in New York – I get a phone call from this number and I’m like, ‘Who’s this?’ Pick up, Jose Mourinho. ‘Rom, how are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, what’s up, boss?’
“‘I’m gonna get you back, we’re gonna pay £75m plus £15m in bonuses (add-ons) by next week, so I expect you in LA. So go and do your s*** in LA and I’ll see you after [in pre-season]’. I felt the dude was lying, like ‘I’ll see you’.
“Then the next thing I know, I wake up and had to go back to Everton on the July 7 and July 6, I wake up in the morning and I see they’ve agreed the deal, so I’m like, ‘Man! They came in hard!'”
Lukaku’s Spell at United Was Less Than Impressive
When Lukaku arrived at Old Trafford, fans would have been hoping that he could help the club to re-establish themselves as giants of English football. They failed to do that as he went on to score just 28 goals in the Premier League for them from 66 games. Some would have argued that he perhaps should have been given more time but it is clear that he was unhappy with life at the club considering that he pushed for a move to join Inter Milan this summer.
Lukaku Also Had a Failed Spell with Chelsea
Along with Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, Lukaku is another former youth product of the Blues development system that was perhaps released by the club hastily. He joined the West Londoners in 2017 from Anderlecht and failed to find the back of the net for them from 10 Premier League appearances. During a three year spell at the West London club, he had loan spells with West Brom and Everton which were fairly impressive. However, in spite of seeing him score goals during that time, Chelsea agreed to sell him permanently to Everton during the summer of 2014.