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Lukaku: Conte key to choosing Inter

August 9, 2019
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Soccer forward Romelu Lukaku gives his thumbs up as he salutes Inter Milan supporters from a window of the Italian Olympic Committee's headquarters, in Milan,Italy, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. Manchester United forward Lukaku is on the verge of completing his move to Inter Milan on the final day of transfers in England. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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Soccer forward Romelu Lukaku gives his thumbs up as he salutes Inter Milan supporters from a window of the Italian Olympic Committee's headquarters, in Milan,Italy, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. Manchester United forward Lukaku is on the verge of completing his move to Inter Milan on the final day of transfers in England. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MILAN (AP) — New Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku says Nerazzurri coach Antonio Conte was a key factor in his decision to join the Serie A club.

Lukaku completed a move from Manchester United on Thursday for a reported 65 million euros ($73 million) plus up to 13 million euros ($15 million) in bonuses.

Conte also joined Inter in the offseason and in his first interview as a Nerazzurri player on Friday, Lukaku was asked how much of an influence the former Chelsea coach’s presence had in him choosing the club.

Lukaku says: “A lot. For me ... he’s the best manager in the world. He’s somebody that can make players better all the time. You can see his record.”

The 26-year-old Lukaku has been given Mauro Icardi’s No. 9 jersey — another sign that the former Inter captain is on his way out of the club.

Icardi was stripped of the captaincy and dropped from the squad midway through last season.

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Soccer forward Romelu Lukaku gives his thumbs up as he salutes Inter Milan supporters from a window of the Italian Olympic Committee's headquarters, in Milan,Italy, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. Manchester United forward Lukaku is on the verge of completing his move to Inter Milan on the final day of transfers in England. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)