LONDON: Romelu Lukaku says his move from Everton to Manchester United for a reported £75million ($97m, 85.5m euros) breaking the transfer record for a deal between British clubs is the opportunity he had always dreamed of as a child.
The 24-year-old Belgian international striker — Everton’s record Premier League goalscorer with 68 — told ESPN he hadn’t hesitated over the move even though his former club Chelsea offered a similar fee but apparently baulked at the sizeable commission his agent Mino Raiola demanded.
Lukaku made no mention of Chelsea whose manager Antonio Conte is said to feel betrayed by the striker with whom he had spoken on several occasions since the end of last season.
“It’s (Manchester United) a club that is hungry to win the league again, to be dominant in the world again,” Lukaku told ESPN, who say they spoke to him after his medical.
“It’s the sort of opportunity I’ve always wanted since a child.
“When they came calling I didn’t have to think twice, so I’m really delighted to be part of history.”
Lukaku, whom United manager Jose Mourinho sold to Everton for £28m in 2014 whilst in his second spell in charge of Chelsea, said the United move for him was the perfect storm.
“Who would say no to the biggest club in the world?” said Lukaku, who is to be paid reportedly over £200,000 a week by United.
“The best stadium in England, the best fans. I mean, it’s the perfect opportunity.
“I always said I wanted to play for a team that’s challenging for every trophy that there is there.
“I think Manchester United at the minute wants to be the dominant team, the dominant force.”
Lukaku, who turned down the most lucrative contract ever offered by Everton at the end of last season which had seen him score 25 Premier League goals, conceded he would have to step up his work rate to please the demanding Mourinho.
“Now it’s time to work hard, work harder than I ever did before and I’m willing to do it,” said Lukaku.
His move comes as he faces a fine after being issued a misdemeanour citation by Los Angeles police for too much noise at a party he hosted in his holiday mansion,