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More Revelation On Lukaku’s Failed Move As Onana Laments On His Change Of Fortune

Written By Onyeka Daniel

At the start of this season, Inter Milan underwent plenty of changes to their squad, with over a dozen players arriving between loans, return from loans and permanent signings and as much players also exiting the club, notable among them is Marcelo Brozovic, Romelu Lukaku and Andre Onana.

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While the Nerazzurri were predicted to struggle, especially after getting to the final of the UEFA Champions League in the previous campaign, they seems to have turned a corner for good, playing some scintillating and exciting football and their new signings fitting perfectly into the team, especially the likes of Marcus Thuram, Yann Sommer and Benjamin Pavard.


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They replaced Lukaku, Onana and Milan Skriniar respectively. According to Inter director Piero Ausilio, Lukaku didn’t show ‘good manners or respect’ during the negotiations with Chelsea, Juventus and then Roma, but ‘it turned out better for us.’ The striker had been sold to Chelsea and almost immediately realised his mistake, returning on loan a year later.

Just as the Nerazzurri were trying to work out a deal to make his comeback to San Siro permanent, it emerged Lukaku’s agents were in talks with rivals Juve and the player went AWOL. “I would prefer not to talk about it, but I’ll just say that in every situation there have to be good manners and respect,” Ausilio said.

The Inter chief made this revelation in a Lega Serie A documentary on the Scudetto triumph called Intergalactic. “Do you know how many negotiations fall apart, with how many players? But if there is the desire to at least say things to your face, look each other in the eyes with respect, that can never be a problem.

“However, when someone switches off their phone, hides, doesn’t answer calls, gives half-answers via other people, then you think it’s time to turn over a new leaf instead. “As far as I am concerned, the matter is closed since July 8, and I remember the date perfectly well. There is no problem, no regret and frankly it turned out better for us with what came later.”

Missing out on Lukaku made Inter turn towards French striker, Thuram instead, who arrived as a free agent and immediately formed a strong partnership with Lautaro Martinez. As for Lukaku, the talks with Juventus faltered and in the final days of the transfer market, he joined Roma on loan from Chelsea instead.

“The first time we spoke about Thuram was after Lukaku’s sale to Chelsea. He played as a winger at Borussia Monchengladbach and I don’t think he realised he could be a striker,” continued Ausilio. “He got an injury and was out for a few months, so we had to change target, but those meetings laid the foundations.

“His father Lilian always tells me I was the first to recognise he could play as a centre-forward. He hasn’t forgotten and neither did Marcus, who remembered the plans we had for him. So we took that advantage and signed him.”

Thuram had been on the verge of signing for their rivals Milan when Inter came back in for him and his signing proved to be a big coup as he played a huge part in the title winning charge, scoring some important goals, especially against AC Milan in the derby in the two legs.

Meanwhile…

Onana has opened up on his disastrous start to life at Old Trafford following his transfer from Inter Milan last summer. The 28-year-old signed for the Nerazzurri in the summer of 2022 as a free agent after seeing out his contract with Ajax.

The Cameroonian started the campaign as an understudy to former club captain Samir Handanovic. However, he swiftly managed to usurp the Slovenian veteran and become Simone Inzaghi’s new Number One.

Onana enjoyed a sensational season at Appiano Gentile, rapidly cementing himself as a fan favorite, especially for his exceptional heroics in the Champions League which played a vital role in the club’s path towards the final. After his phenomenal season in Italy, the Nerazzurri decided to immediately cash in on their prized asset.

They sold him to Man United last summer for a figure close to €55 million. This move reunited him with his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag. Since the goalkeeper had arrived as a free agent only a year ago, this constituted a major capital gain. The Nerazzurri then found themselves a much cheaper alternative in the shape of Sommer.

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But despite only costing the club €6 million, the Swiss veteran proved to be a more than capable replacement. On the other hand, Onana endured a torrid start to life with the Red Devils. The Cameroon international committed a host of inexplicable howlers at the start of the season.

Onana admitted that he had completely lost his form at the time.“I arrived at Man Utd as the best goalkeeper in the world. Then ‘boom’, everything collapsed,” said the custodian in his interview with BBC. “I asked myself ‘What is happening to me?’

“But this is football. It’s a difficult game. It depends on whether you are willing to stand up and fight.” Onana regained his composure as the season progressed. But it remains a disappointing campaign for Man Utd overall as they failed to reach the Champions League.

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