MANCHESTER CITY had a ‘very concrete’ interest in signing Romelu Lukaku in 2020 before deciding against the move.
The Belgian forward rejoined Chelsea from Inter Milan in a £97.5million move in the summer.
Meanwhile the Cityzens were linked with a host of strikers, most notably Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, but ultimately failed to land a replacement for Sergio Aguero.
Now Lukaku’s agent Federico Pastorello has revealed that City were previously keen on his client last year as they eyed someone to fill the boots of the all-time top scorer.
Pastorello told Telegraph Sport: “I think I can say without disappointing anybody that Manchester City came in the year before.
“During the pandemic, it was very complicated because of trying to fly to places to meet people.
“It started very concrete and very serious, but eventually they changed their idea or they were not ready to make it happen.
“Honestly, it was very difficult after the first year – it was almost impossible. He hadn’t won the league with Inter and he wanted to do that, and it would have been really impossible. Then they [City] focussed on Harry Kane this summer.”
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Lukaku made a red-hot start to life back at Stamford Bridge and scored four in four before enduring a six-game barren run.
The forward, 28, is currently nursing an ankle injury but he warned his representative before the summer window that it was ‘now or never’ whether he would fulfill his dream of playing for the Blues again.
Pastorello added: “This is what I was telling Romelu, that it could be now or never, because probably he was not realising it 100 per cent at first.
“I had to tell him to remember that sometimes there are trains and when they pass, they don’t come back.
“Because of the situation, because of the market and because there were not many possibilities, this was Romelu’s train.
“We had the opportunity to be in the right place at the right moment and I told him that if he wanted to come back, he needed to take it now.
“Chelsea were 100 per cent sure that he was the one, I never had doubts, but I think they needed to think twice before doing it.
“There were more offers before they got to the level Inter accepted. There were four offers and the fifth was the one that closed the talks.
“Looking back, I think everyone got a really good deal.”
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