Inter say they will need to take their time in their pursuit of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.

Inter say they will need to take their time in their pursuit of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium international has been identified as a key target by new boss Antonio Conte who was keen to sign Lukaku during his spell in charge at Chelsea before the player plumped for Old Trafford.

But Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta added a note of caution when asked about his club’s pursuit of Lukaku, saying: “The transfer market is a work in progress.

“We are working hard to get the best squad possible for the new season. We are ambitious and want the best team possible. We also must find ways to respect all financial parameters too.

“We cannot rush things because that can lead to mistakes. We have clear ideas but we need to be patient. We have important goals and transfer targets in mind.”

Lukaku was included in United’s squad for their tour of Australia, Singapore and China as they left the UK on Sunday but doubts remain about his future under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Lukaku was pictured looking glum as he boarded the flight for Perth on Sunday.

However, Marotta was quick to deny talk of Inter’s Argentina international Mauro Icardi being allowed to leave for Juventus and potentially make room for Lukaku.

He has been strongly linked with a switch to champions Juventus but Marotta told reporters: “I’d exclude it right now. There aren’t the conditions to do that.”

Icardi is, however, not part of Conte’s plans for the new season and he is expected to depart along with midfielder Radja Nainggolan.

“They are not part of our project, I say this with transparency and respect. Icardi is on the market. But we respect the contractual agreements.”

If a deal for Lukaku stalls, Inter may turn to veteran Roma striker Edin Dzeko who has scored 62 goals in the last four Serie A seasons.

Marotta explained: “Patience is needed. It’s like a chess game. He is an objective for us but both parties are trying to find the right deal. The player favours the move but that doesn’t mean everything. We must respect the financial parameters .”

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