Inter have unveiled Romelu Lukaku’s shirt number for the upcoming 2019/20 season, just as details of a bust-up between himself and Manchester United assistant Mike Phelan have emerged.
After a summer of see-sawing and a potential (eventually failed) swap deal with Juventus involving Paulo Dybala, the Belgian striker finally joined Inter on transfer deadline day in a £76.5m move.
And upon his signing, the club confirmed that he would don the number nine shirt in Milan, just as he had done at Manchester United.
“Here, the foundations are there to do well. Through my commitment and my desire to perform, I want to help this team achieve big things. I won’t get ahead of myself, but I hope we’ll have achieved great results come the end of the season.”
However, as revealed by the Sun, there were other factors at play in Lukaku’s move, namely a bust-up had between himself and assistant Mike Phelan during United’s pre-season tour of Asia.
It is understood that, right before the clash against Spurs in Shanghai, the team were assembled on the third floor of their hotel for a headcount. They then went down to the bus, where a subsequent headcount found one player – Lukaku – to be missing.
Enraged, Phelan told the bus to leave without him, forcing the striker to make his own way to the stadium, where he berated the club’s security for ditching him. At this point, Phelan stepped in, admitting it was he who had ordered the bus to leave, before having a go at the Belgian for his lack of professionalism and claiming he deserved to be left behind.
After that moment, Lukaku did not play another minute in a United shirt.