Hours after United had cooled their interest in signing Antoine Griezmann, the Frenchman took to social media to declare his loyalty to Atletico Madrid.
United were widely believed to be preparing a bid that would trigger Griezmann’s £86million buyout clause.
But sources close to United indicated that the French international was no longer a priority.
That was mainly down to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long-term knee injury, after which Jose Mourinho had instructed United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to sign a striker instead.
Mourinho’s team enjoyed great success in the EFL Cup and the Europa League last season, but only managed to score 54 goals in the Premier League – and the Portuguese has been quick to point this out to his forwards.
Only last month Griezmann rated his own chances of a move to Old Trafford as “six out of 10” – but if he is not the man to ease United’s woes in front of goal, who is?
To say the lines of communication between Lukaku’s agent Mino Raiola and the United hierarchy are open would be an understatement.
Mourinho made four signings last summer with three of them – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba – coming from Raiola’s star-studded list of clients.
The vociferous Raiola has also claimed that Everton promised Lukaku that he could leave the club during this transfer window if “certain clubs” made a suitable offer.
With Diego Costa’s route to Atletico from Chelsea now blocked due to CAS’s decision, Lukaku might find that his options in the Premier League are limited to just Old Trafford.
The Torino striker has enjoyed a fantastic season scoring 26 goals in the league alone.
His tenacity and presence means his playing style is not too dissimilar to the likes of Diego Milito, Didier Drogba and Diego Costa, all of whom have spearheaded Mourinho title winning teams at various stages of his career.
Shopping in Turin proved expensive for United last year when they parted with a world record fee for Paul Pogba.
So they would probably have to get somewhere near Belotti’s release clause which is identical to Griezmann’s at £86m.
Concerns have been raised about his lack of Premier League experience but that hasn’t stopped Mourinho making big money signings from abroad before – and if he thinks he’s the right man for the job, he’ll certainly try to sign him.
What’s happening with David De Gea? Could Morata be part of the deal and head the other way to Manchester?
AC Milan have been monitoring the strikers’ situation with the former Juventus star becoming increasingly disillusioned with the direction his career has taken at Real Madrid over the last few months.
Milan might also appeal to Morata because of his engagement to his Italian partner, but Mourinho is a known admirer too.
And depending on how he gets on with his other targets, he might just pick up the phone and try to tempt the Spaniard towards the North West of England rather than Italy.
Certainly not a classic number nine but would quench United’s thirst for a superstar signing.
With Ibrahimovic likely to join Wayne Rooney through the exit door, the number seven, nine and ten shirts could all be available before the start of the new season.
From a personal point of view, it could be a summer of big decisions for Bale, who if he wins his third Champions League on Saturday against Juventus, may feel it’s time to head back to the Premier League with his young family.