Inter Milan are likely to have to cough up around £90 million to stand any chance of signing Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United this summer.
Despite Piero Ausilio, the Inter sporting director, meeting with United officials in London on Friday, the Italian club have still to make a formal offer for Lukaku.
Inter had been proposing a deal that would involve paying £9 million to loan Lukaku for two seasons with an obligation to buy at the end of that term for a further £53.7 million.
But United – who are under no pressure to sell, despite Lukaku’s desire to join Inter – would only be tempted by a cash deal and have no intention of allowing the Belgium striker to leave on the cheap.
United paid Everton £75 million for Lukaku in 2017 but the Merseyside club would be due an additional £5 million windfall if the player was to leave this summer and it seems likely that United would seek a substantial increase on £80 million in what is proving a vastly inflated transfer market.
Antonio Conte, the Inter coach, believes his club’s chances of signing Lukaku are likely to hinge on being able to offload Mauro Icardi to free up cash but there have yet to be any takers for the Argentina striker, despite some interest from Juventus.