Inter boss Antonio Conte says Romelu Lukaku would improve his side, but admits there are factors standing in the way of him signing the striker from Manchester United.
Inter are keen on the Belgian but are yet to meet United’s valuation of the player, who cost them £75m to sign from Everton two years ago.
He will not play for United against Inter in Singapore on Saturday.
“You know I like this player,” said Conte.
“In the past when I was Chelsea’s coach [from 2016 to 2018] I tried to bring him to Chelsea.
“As I said before, I like this player and consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement but at the same there is a transfer market.
“We know very well which is our situation at the moment and we will see what happens but for now Lukaku is a United player.”
Inter’s move for Lukaku is thought to hinge on the future of Mauro Icardi, who has not travelled on the club’s summer tour of Asia amid reports he is to leave.
When asked about the Argentine striker, Conte replied: “The situation is very clear, the club was very clear that Icardi is out of Inter’s project. This is the reality.”
When pressed on Lukaku’s future at United, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he had “no more updates”.
Lukaku missed both United’s tour matches in Australia due to injury and Solskjaer says he will remain absent.
“He’s not fit. He won’t be available,” said the United boss.
The 26-year-old did not play an active part in training on Friday, instead undergoing some individual fitness work before making his way to the bench, where he sat next to a United staff member for over half an hour.