Romelu Lukaku sends message to Antonio Conte after Inter exit

Romelu Lukaku has paid tribute to Antonio Conte following his departure at Inter (AFP via Getty)

Romelu Lukaku has paid tribute to Antonio Conte after Inter confirmed the Italian’s surprise exit on Wednesday.

Conte has agreed to terminate his contract with Inter following a difference in opinion with the club’s hierarchy over the team’s direction.

It’s understood that Inter’s Chinese owners are looking to reduce the wage bill by up to 20 per cent and are also aiming to recover 100 million (£86.5m) in player sales by the end of the transfer window.

Conte has been unhappy with Inter’s intentions and has now left the club just weeks after guiding the team to their first Serie A title since 2010.

The former Chelsea boss also played a key role in convincing Lukaku to join Inter in 2019, and the striker, who has thrived since his move to Italy, has now sent a special message to his former manager.

‘[In] 2014 we spoke for the first time and we have had a bond ever since,’ Lukaku wrote on Instagram.

Romelu Lukaku was convinced to join Inter by Antonio Conte (AFP via Getty)

‘We had many moments to work together but only god knows why it never happened earlier.

‘You came at the right time and basically changed me as a player and made me even stronger mentally and more importantly we won together!

‘Winning is and it’s all that matters to you and I’m glad that I have had you as a coach.

‘I will keep your principles for the rest of my career ( physical preparation, mental and just the drive to win…) it was a pleasure to play for you!

‘Thank you for all what you did. I owe you a lot.. @antonioconte.’

In his reply to Lukaku’s message, former Chelsea captain John Terry, who worked under Conte at Stamford Bridge, added: ‘@romelulukaku I loved him mate. Great manager and a great man.’

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