Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Talks Romelu Lukaku Amid Juventus Transfer Links

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2019

SINGAPORE - JULY 19:  Romelu Lukaku turns up for training during Manchester United official training/press conference at the Singapore National Stadium on July 19, 2019 in Singapore.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/International Champions Cup/Getty Images)
Suhaimi Abdullah/International Champions Cup/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Romelu Lukaku was omitted from Manchester United's trip to Norway because of an injury amid rumours they're working on a swap deal with Juventus for Paulo Dybala. 

According to Sky in Italy (h/t Sky Sports), the two clubs have agreed a deal in principle to exchange the players, and the move is now contingent on United agreeing terms with Dybala, whose agent is in London to hold talks with the Red Devils.

Per ESPN FC's Rob Dawson, United travelled to Norway on Monday without Lukaku to face Kristiansund in a friendly on Tuesday, but Solskjaer said the striker's absence was down to his fitness:

"It was best for him [Lukaku] to stay home. He wouldn't have been able to play. Hopefully he might be able to train in the next couple of days. Let's see what happens.

"You never know what happens in football. He's not been able to train, but he's not been that bad that we had to send him home, we still had hope he was going to be fit to play in Australia, Shanghai and Singapore. But for this short trip, there was no point bringing him."

The Belgian has not managed to appear for United in pre-season because of an ankle problem.

The English side have one friendly remaining against AC Milan on Saturday, before they turn their attention to their Premier League opener with Chelsea on August 11.

It's said Dybala, who featured for Argentina in the Copa America earlier in the summer, will return from his holiday on Thursday and wants to speak to Juve boss Maurizio Sarri before deciding his future.

Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved would not be drawn on specifics relating to Lukaku or Dybala during a recent discussion with the media:

Goal @goal

Here's what Juventus vice president Nedved had to say when asked about the Lukaku and Dybala rumours 👀 https://t.co/dnASc2M6RD

The Press Association's Simon Peach believes Solskjaer will be happy if the club can pull off a swap deal:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

Dybala to #MUFC & Lukaku heading the other way? Still a long way off but suspect Solskjaer would be pretty bloody happy with a versatile forward - with an ability to play on the right - replacing Lukaku

Lukaku, who turned 26 in May, is a much more prolific goalscorer than Dybala. The former has 235 career goals for club and country, while the latter has 104.

Their positions differ, though, as Lukaku is a centre-forward while Dybala has often been used in a support role, while last season he spent a significant amount of time on the right flank.

The Argentinian is also far superior technically and more dynamic in his movement than Lukaku, so he could be a better fit for Solskjaer's plans.

Whichever player United end up with, they'll hope to have them fit and ready for the start of the new season.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.