Inter signing Lukaku is Conte's 'will and hope'

The Nerazzurri manager believes that the Belgium international is the perfect man to replace wantaway striker Mauro Icardi next season

Antonio Conte says it is his “will and hope” that Inter will sign Romelu Lukaku but concedes a potential transfer is out of his hands.

Lukaku missed Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Inter on Saturday, just hours after widespread reports that the Red Devils had turned down a £54 million ($68m) bid from the Serie A side for the Belgium international.

Inter look set to sell Mauro Icardi during the close season and Conte has made no secret of his desire to bring Lukaku to San Siro as he looks to replace the Argentinian.

Speaking after the defeat to United in Singapore, the former Chelsea manager again revealed his desire to link up with the 26-year-old.

“He is a United player and for this reason we must show great respect for the club, for the player and also for my own players,” he told a media conference.

“Lukaku is a player that I like because I consider him a player that could improve our team.

“On one side is my will and my hope. On the other side we will see what we find with the club.”

The former Chelsea and Everton striker has been strongly linked with a move to the San Siro during the summer transfer window, and his absence from Saturday’s game will only add fuel to the fire.

Conte, meanwhile, has suggested that midfielder Ivan Perisic does not fit into the system that he wants to play at Inter this season.

The Croatia international was introduced as a half-time substitute against United but Conte was not impressed with his contribution, believing it fell short of the standard set by Dalbert on the left flank.

“We are working but the answers are not positive,” the Inter boss said of Perisic.

“I don’t think he is adapting to the role that I asked him to do.

“The only place he can play right now is as a striker. On the other hand, I saw Dalbert applying himself greatly in this match.

“We have to improve so much from all points of view. We have a lot of work to do and we will do it.”

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