Lukaku to miss ANOTHER leg of Manchester United’s pre-season tour amid Inter Milan interest


Lukaku will miss his fourth game in a row against Tottenham in Shanghai on Thursday with the ankle injury that has also limited his ability to train with the rest of the squad.

It has come against a backdrop of intense speculation linking him with Inter Milan who failed with a £54million bid for the player last weekend.

‘Lukaku won’t be fit no,’ said Solskjaer. ‘He’s been working with a physio the last few days so he won’t make this one either.

‘Of course, it’s never nice to be a player who misses out on important fitness work and team understanding and tactical approach, so he’ll just have to make up later on then.’

Solskjaer insisted he is happy with the decision to bring Lukaku out to Perth, Singapore and Shanghai even though he hasn’t been able to take part.

Asked if he had any regrets, he added. ‘He got injured in training so he had to stay here. It’s not too bad, if it was worse we’d have sent him home but he’s been working with physios, so no.’ 

Solskjaer says he has no concerns about the conditions in Shanghai three years after the Manchester derby was cancelled over the state of the pitch in Beijing. A morning thunderstorm here left the training ground under water although it had been cleared by late afternoon for United to train.

‘No I’ve not heard anything,’ said Solskjaer. ‘We got a video off the staff who were here and it was flooded, but now it’s fine – no problem. The heat has helped and we can’t do anything about what him upstairs decides to pour down. Everything has been spot on so far for us.’

The intense heat and humidity will also be a challenge for the players who are trying to implement Solskjaer’s high pressing tactics, but Scott McTominay is confident they will cope against Spurs.

‘As a footballer, you have to go around the world,’ said McTominay. ‘You come here and it’s hot and it’s humid but there are a lot of excuses the lads can make and not to have a positive end to the tour. It’s important we go out tomorrow night and put everything we’ve worked on in training into the match as well.’

Meanwhile, Solskjaer welcomed United’s decision to promote his former teammate Nicky Butt to head of first-team development to help the younger players make the transition to the first team.

‘Scott is a good example of what we expect and hope from our youngsters,’ said Solskjaer. ‘He’s being patient. I hope he’s going to break through properly and have a great impact on the team.

‘With Nicky, he knows what we want from players, what the demands and standards are for young players coming through. There’s always been a big void since I was in the reserves, and how is the pathway. 

‘It’s a difficult one. But this club has been based on young players coming through and we’ll always rely on young kids coming through. Nicky is going to be in charge of that.’


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