Man City tried ‘very seriously’ to sign Romelu Lukaku last year before Chelsea made five offers to sign him, reveals his agent Federico Pastorello – who warned the striker that £98m Blues return was ‘now or never’
- Romelu Lukaku sealed his return to Chelsea in the summer in a £98million move
- His agent has revealed how the big-money transfer from Inter Milan came about
- Manchester City were also ‘very seriously’ interested in him, his agent revealed
- City’s approach was ‘concrete’ but they changed their minds in their striker hunt
Manchester City held ‘very concrete’ interest in Romelu Lukaku last year before opting against the move, the striker’s agent Federico Pastorello has revealed.
Lukaku ultimately re-joined Chelsea in a sensational £98million switch over the summer, leaving Inter Milan for Stamford Bridge, and it has not been confirmed that he believed he had unfinished business at the club.
City have been on the hunt for a new first-choice striker after the departure of Sergio Aguero, and were also eyeing up a number of targets before the veteran departed. On their shortlist was Lukaku, but their approach fell through.
Manchester City held ‘very concrete’ interest in Romelu Lukaku last year, his agent revealed
‘I think I can say without disappointing anybody that Manchester City came in the year before,’ Pastorello told Telegraph Sport in a rare interview.
‘During the pandemic, it was very complicated because of trying to fly to places to meet people. It started very concrete and very serious, but eventually they changed their idea or they were not ready to make it happen.
‘Honestly, it was very difficult after the first year – it was almost impossible. He hadn’t won the league with Inter and he wanted to do that, and it would have been really impossible. Then they [City] focussed on Harry Kane this summer.’
City boss Pep Guardiola has been on the hunt for a new striker and Lukaku was on his shortlist
Lukaku enjoyed a fine start to his second Chelsea spell, scoring four goals in as many games
Lukaku enjoyed a lightning-fast start to his second spell with Chelsea, having scored four goals in his first four games. However, he endured a six-game barren run and picked up an ankle injury against Malmo in the Champions League.
Before he headed back to west London, the frontman, 28, was warned by his representative that fulfilling his dream of playing for Chelsea again was a case of ‘now or never’. Five offers later, and negotiations were wrapped up.
‘This is what I was telling Romelu, that it could be now or never, because probably he was not realising it 100 per cent at first,’ Pastorello added.
‘I had to tell him to remember that sometimes there are trains and when they pass, they don’t come back. Because of the situation, because of the market and because there were not many possibilities, this was Romelu’s train.
His agent Federico Pastorello also warned Lukaku that his return to Chelsea was ‘now or never’
‘We had the opportunity to be in the right place at the right moment and I told him that if he wanted to come back, he needed to take it now.
‘Chelsea were 100 per cent sure that he was the one, I never had doubts, but I think they needed to think twice before doing it.
‘There were more offers before they got to the level Inter accepted. There were four offers and the fifth was the one that closed the talks. Looking back, I think everyone got a really good deal.’
Now back in blue, Lukaku’s focus will be on returning from injury. He proved anxious supporters with an update, sharing a photo of himself laid back on a sofa while receiving treatment on his damaged ankle.
Lukaku posted a photo of himself receiving treatment to his injured right ankle in his recovery
The striker required treatment on the pitch after appearing to twist his ankle against Malmo
In the caption, he posted batter and clock emojis, hinting that he is resting and recharging before making his comeback.
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed his first-choice marksman will miss at least two games as a result of the problem.
‘I don’t think it makes any sense that we go into speculation about how long it’s going to be. The fact is you never know,’ Tuchel said before Chelsea beat Norwich.
‘Things can be shorter or longer than expected. One thing I can tell you for sure is that that they are both in treatment and both feeling positive. They are not too worried. Out of the next two games for sure and then we’ll see.’