Jose Mourinho took a sly dig at Chelsea over Lukaku buy

  • Romelu Lukaku signed for Manchester United from Everton this summer 
  • Jose Mourinho says United got their man because they were prepared to pay
  • Antonio Conte wanted the striker but was frustrated in the transfer window  

Jose Mourinho has taken an apparent dig at former club Chelsea by saying Romelu Lukaku ended up at Manchester United because they were prepared to pay the money.

Lukaku, who faces former club Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday, had been heavily tipped to rejoin Chelsea last summer until United made their late £75million move.

Mourinho had previously worked with the Belgian striker at Stamford Bridge but dismissed their personal relationship as a factor in the transfer, claiming finances including personal terms and the agent’s cut were the key.

Romelu Lukaku is at Manchester United because the club paid up, says Jose Mourinho

His assertion will frustrate Blues manager Antonio Conte who wanted his boss Roman Abramovich to sign the 24-year-old as a replacement for Diego Costa.

Asked about landing Lukaku, Mourinho said: ‘ I don’t think it was my influence, no. I think we paid the money that Everton asked for and we paid the player the wages that his agent asked for and we paid the agents the commission that they asked for.

‘I think that was the way. I don’t see another reason. We paid what Everton asked for. The seller club is the club that decides the amount the buying club pays or doesn’t pay. With Romelu my club decided to pay and they got him.’

Mourinho's comments may frustrate Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who wanted the striker

Mourinho’s comments may frustrate Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who wanted the striker

Mourinho swooped for 24-year-old Lukaku after Zlatan Ibrahimovic sustained a serious knee injury and he has made a bright start to his Old Trafford career with six goals in six games.

In contrast, the entire Everton team have scored only seven times in nine matches.

Their manager Ronald Koeman revealed there were aspects of the striker’s game he tried to improve on but his goals were almost impossible to replace.

‘With Romelu we had enough fights about how he needs to press, how he needs to run, how he needs to move. But in the box, opportunities to score, he is one of the best,’ said the Everton manager.

Lukaku shares the same agent, Mino Raiola, as United team-mates Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic.