Romelu Lukaku: Manchester United forward won't settle for second choice, says Belgian football expert
By Conor Costello
Last Updated: 02/07/19 11:26pm
With several Belgian footballers in the spotlight in this summer's transfer window, Belgian football expert Kristof Terreur provides insight into the futures of the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans and Toby Alderweireld.
Lukaku returned to Manchester United pre-season training early ahead of a potential summer move to Inter. The striker had been given up to four extra days off due to being on international duty with Belgium, but the 26-year-old opted to report back for duty on Monday. But is he happy at Old Trafford?
Speaking on the latest edition of the Transfer Talk podcast, Terreur answers some of the key questions surrounding the Premier League's Belgian stars.
Lukaku wants to be United's main man - will Solskjaer give him the chance?
"He's been clear in his interviews he wants to leave. He doesn't want to be second choice. That's what he feels under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he didn't play that much when Solskjaer came in. He feels that he is second choice.
"Inter don't have the money for the transfer. They can spend the money over a few years but that's not what Man Utd want, they want the cash immediately and I don't see them paying £75m or £80m. They can't with their budget, so they will have to find a way around it.
"If they can keep Lukaku, Man Utd will be happy. If they can get the money, they will be happy."
Should Tielemans join Leicester or United?
"Leicester are still in pole position to sign him. The problem they have is that they didn't have an option to buy him, otherwise it would have been an easy deal.
"Monaco know he has performed well in the Premier League so they want at least £40m or £50m so Leicester are not, at the moment, willing to spend that money.
"If a club like Man Utd comes in where you can play European football, which is always very important for continental players, they can offer him that so he might rethink. He knows that Solskjaer rates him so he feels that the manager likes him.
"If I was him, I would say stay at Leicester because he's still young, he's 21 years old, you get that run of two years but then he might have the same difficulties as Harry Maguire. It's difficult to leave Leicester with the current owners so he's considering that too."
Will anyone take advantage of Toby's £25m price tag?
"Clubs who want Alderweireld can pay just £25m and they will have him. He's 30 years old and clubs try to get younger defenders now. You see that with United wanting Maguire, 26 years old, but he's still a quality defender and maybe at the end of the window somebody will come in for him.
"There haven't been talks about a new contract since he rejected the last contract and still there is a bad taste in the mouth when he rejected it."
Are Tottenham likely to offer Vertonghen a new deal?
"We know Spurs' policy with players over the age of 32, they only offer one-year extensions and these players want two or three years. He's happy at the moment, he wants to play under Mauricio Pochettino but he's at a crossroads in his career. Do they still get the best out of him next year? We will have to see. But he's willing to stay and play under Pochettino. It will depend on what Spurs are offering him.
"If they offer him a two-year deal he will sign it. They will have to offer him good money too because it's his last contract."
Is Origi likely to remain with Liverpool?
"They already offered him a new contract before the Champions League final and there were some talks with his agent after that game. They were advanced negotiations but the player hasn't made his decision yet and he's still on holiday.
"He's been promised he will be playing a more advanced role than last season. Daniel Sturridge has left so he's basically the backup for Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino and they will offer him good money. I think he might sign a new deal for four or five years."