Inter Milan’s pursuit of Romelu Lukaku has been delayed even further, as the Italian club have decided to focus on signing another striker instead.
Antonio Conte had informed the Inter board to make a move for Manchester United striker Lukaku after being appointed at San Siro, but they have struggled to meet the asking price for the Belgian.
United do not want to make a loss on the player they signed from Everton two years ago, meaning they have told Inter to pay at least £79m.
Inter tried to meet those demands by structuring a bid as a loan with an obligation to buy, so they could spread the fee out over multiple years, but that offer was of little interest to United. Long-term target Ivan Perisic was also offered in a swap, but an agreement looks no closer to being completed.
Now, Milanese paper Gazzetta Dello Sport say that Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta has put their move for Lukaku on hold for the time being, so they can primarily focus on former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko.
The Bosnian has one year left on his contract at Roma, and after a disappointing season, is expected to leave the Italian capital. He has long since agreed personal terms with the Nerazzurri, but the two clubs are still negotiating over the fee.
Dzeko would be a more economical option for Inter given that his value is set at €20m, but Inter have still been hesitant to pay that amount.
However, Marotta has now returned early from Inter’s pre-season tour of Asia to try and close a deal for the 33-year-old. The report claims that he wants Dzeko to be confirmed by the end of this month.