Paper Round: Why Man Utd ended Dybala pursuit - and what now for Lukaku?
The futures of Paulo Dybala, Romelu Lukaku and Mario Mandzukic are all discussed in Monday’s Paper Round.
No-go for Paulo
Inter to the rescue?
Lukaku could yet head to Italy, with Inter head coach Antonio Conte admitting he is “very hopeful” of signing this Belgian this summer. Inter had been frontrunners before the idea of a swap with Dybala was mooted, and Conte said on Sunday – before news of Juve-United talks breaking down – that he was unsure as to how it would all play out.
“I understand there are some gaps that need to be filled but at the moment I am very hopeful that this will happen,” Conte said.
" For sure Lukaku, we are talking about a good player, a striker that in the past I tried to buy when I was Chelsea’s coach. We’re talking about two big clubs, Juventus and Inter Milan, but honestly, I don’t know."
Paper Round’s view: Inter would provide Lukaku the exit route he seemingly craves and the hierarchy at United want, but the club are running out of time to find a replacement with deadline day on August 8 in the UK. They are unlikely to sell before someone is identified, and so it appears this one will drag on into the 11th hour…
Mario the man for Man Utd?
Paper Round’s view: At 33, the prospect of Mandzukic arriving, but not Dybala, will hardly delight the Stretford End, but it would at least allow Lukaku to leave. Even then, you have to ask yourself whether Juventus would happily do business knowing Inter could prosper as a result, while the more important question would be, what does Mandzukic have that a 26-year-old Lukaku does not? (You said ‘a first touch’, didn’t you…)
Paper Round’s view: A move that won’t leave any Liverpool fans with sleepless nights, although they will rest easier when a replacement back-up is found. In Alisson, Liverpool have a goalkeeper for every big occasion. Anyone fancy a run-out in the League Cup and nothing else? Line-up outside Anfield, please.