• Serie A

Conte: Lukaku will be an ‘excellent signing’ for Inter Milan

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A “really happy” Antonio Conte backed Romelu Lukaku to quickly settle in at Inter Milan and prove himself to be a brilliant signing.

After several attempts, Conte finally got his number one target Lukaku on Thursday in a €65m deal from Manchester United.

The Belgium international has signed a five-year contract at the San Siro and recently opened up on Conte’s influence. Apparently, the desire to work under the “best coach in the world” helped him decide.

And Inter manager Conte is evidently feeling equally excited over the prospect of linking up with Lukaku. Of course, the Italian is a long-term admirer and tried to sign him in 2017 for Chelsea.

“He needs to work hard, both from a physical point of view and to get used to the way we’re trying to go about things,” Conte told Inter TV.

“He’ll certainly be an excellent signing, we’re really happy. He’ll show great desire and commitment to get himself ready.”

Although Lukaku couldn’t make his Inter debut for Saturday’s friendly at Valencia, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The La Liga side gave Inter quite the scare early on following Carlos Soler’s first-half opener. However, Matteo Politano scored an 82nd-minute penalty to level the scoreline in Spain.

The Nerazzurri then went on to win the tie 6-7 on penalties.

“It was a difficult and important match against an excellent side who have had the same coach [Marcelino] for a long time. Last season, they won the Copa del Rey against Barcelona, for example,” said Conte.

“This is a very positive thing in terms of our mentality. I said to them that they could do better, but we are working hard to improve.

“They’re a bit tired because they are working from both a tactical and physical point of view in order to get up to speed. Tonight was another step forward in our development.”