Romelu Lukaku has just laid it on full ‘factor 50’ to Antonio Conte.
Man United’s forward claimed that the Italian is the best manager in the world in an attempt to force a move to Inter Milan.
And it’s clear Lukaku is Conte’s type on paper after a transfer which never happened two years ago.
In the summer of 2017 Man United and Chelsea were battling it out for two big-name strikers.
There was Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid and Romelu Lukaku from Everton, both considered two of the top five strikers in Europe.
How times have changed.
Conte had won the Premier League in his debut season but after some unsavoury text messages with Diego Costa, the Blues were in need of a new front man.
It was no secret that Conte’s main target was Lukaku and after a tug-of-war with the club… he ended up with a red-haired Morata.
That was the beginning of the end for the Italian live wire’s time in London who unenthusiastically played out his second season and prepared his lawyers for the settlement to come.
While Morata and Conte struggled, Lukaku thrived in his first season at Old Trafford – scoring 27 goals in 51 games for The Red Devils.
In his second season in Manchester the Belgian was used as something of a scapegoat for all the issues and fell out of favour with both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United’s new manager left Lukaku on the bench for their biggest game of the season at the Nou Camp showing his days may well be numbered.
Conte’s success at: Chelsea, Juventus and the Italian national side was based on having a bullish striker.
It was Costa at Chelsea, Carlos Tevez at Juventus and Graziano Pelle with Italy.
While Mauro Icardi could well fit the bill at Inter, his relationship with the club and history of insubordination will be a major turn off for Conte, just as it was with Costa.
Conte is returning to Italy and wants to end Juventus’ eight year Serie A dominance.
The Italian won three of those eight titles between 2012-2015 but is now trying to stop the beast he helped create.
He would need Lukaku at the peak of his powers to stop Cristiano Ronaldo &co winning Juve’s ninth.
Could the pair couple up before the window ends?