Inter realised they faced an uphill battle to sign Romelu Lukaku after holding formal talks with Manchester United yesterday, according to Corriere dello Sport.
Piero Ausilio met the Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and was told United want £75 million (€83.4 million) for the striker, not €75 million as they hoped.
The Nerazzurri’s sporting director registered the request and did not make an official offer, enquiring into the possibility of signing Lukaku on a paid loan with an obligation to buy.
“The parties only discussed the idea briefly and will return to it in the coming weeks,” the paper concluded.
Inter hope they can secure Lukaku with a deal that sees payment spread across two or three financial seasons, but it remains to be seen whether United will accept this.
Talks for Edin Dzeko remain on hold in the meantime, following a small step in the right direction earlier this week.
Roma will not soften their position for the Bosnian until they have signed a replacement, but in any case Inter will have to offer more than the €12 million they recently bid.