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Lampard on transfer ban: I don't need players

Lampard on transfer ban: I don't need players

ESPN

Inter Milan will return with a new bid for Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku of £60 million plus add-ons, a source has told ESPN FC.

Lukaku is a prime transfer target for new Inter boss Antonio Conte, who had previously tried to sign the Belgium international while manager of Chelsea in 2017.

- When does the transfer window close?

Inter's opening offer of a two-year loan worth €10m with obligation to then sign him for €60m was rejected, with United looking for £80m, according to ESPN FC sources.

And a source has told ESPN FC Inter will test United's nerve again by returning with a £60m offer to sign the 26-year-old outright, with potential bonuses on top. The fee would be paid over two years.

Lukaku is looking to leave United this summer as he feels he has dropped below Marcus Rashford in the pecking order to lead the attack and keen to join Inter, having recently labelled Conte the "greatest manager in the world."

His move to Inter is likely to depend on the departure of Mauro Icardi from San Siro, with the Nerazzurri actively looking to sell their former skipper. Icardi did not travel with Inter for the club's preseason tour of Asia.

A club statement read: "Mauro Icardi will today return to Milan from our training camp in Lugano. The club and the striker have come to this decision by mutual agreement.

"Icardi will continue his preseason training over the next few days and will take no part in our summer Tour in Asia."

Juventus have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old by the Italian media, but Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis ruled out Icardi arriving at San Paolo.

New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has played down the effects of the transfer ban on the club, saying that he doesn't need to make new signings.

Chelsea are not able to register new senior players due to the two-window transfer ban imposed by FIFA in February and upheld in May after the governing body found them guilty of breaching rules related to the signing of players under the age of 18.

 "I think I've inherited very good players," Lampard said in a press conference in Japan. "We can't bring any players in, we know that, but I don't need new players.

"I'm very happy with the squad and determined for us to be successful."

Despite the ban, Chelsea have made one new signing this window, announcing the signature of Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid in a deal worth £40.3 million earlier this month.

Kovacic spent last season on loan at the club, meaning that the Blues were able to sign the midfielder without breaching their two-transfer window ban as he was still registered with the club after June 30.

The 25-year-old midfielder was sat alongside Lampard at the press conference and said: "It's amazing to have a club legend as your coach but it's also quite tough. The training is intense but we're enjoying it.

"There is a lot of the ball, exactly what we like, and we're looking forward to learn a lot and make him proud."

The Chelsea squad arrived in Japan on Tuesday morning for their pre-season tour.

Lampard's side will play J1 league champions Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama on Friday before meeting Spanish champions Barcelona in Saitama on July 23.

ESPN