Former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has hit back at criticism he received from Gary Neville surrounding his departure from the club this summer.
Lukaku, 26, was called “overweight” by the former Red Devils defender on social media shortly before he completed his £75million move to Inter Milan.
The Sky Sports pundit also questioned the striker’s professionalism, saying in a tweet: “He will score goals and do well at Inter Milan but unprofessionalism is contagious.”
However, Lukaku has denied the claims about his attitude in an interview with BBC Sport , stating: “Don’t question my professionalism.
“I live for this game. I am at home all the time. I try to do everything to improve.”
He continued: “He (Neville) can talk about my fitness but he should never say anything about my professionalism, that I don’t work hard enough.
“That is something he cannot say. All the coaches I have had say the same thing about me.
“What did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer say when I was on the training ground? What did he say? That I always work hard and always do my best to try and improve myself. Same with Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez. Now Antonio Conte will say it.
“Last year was just a bad year,” he admitted. “It happens in football. You just have to move on. I am not going to sit here and react in a negative way.
“We are grown men. He is a pundit. He gets paid to say this kind of stuff. I am paid to play football.
“I just want to do my best for Inter Milan. That is it.”
Lukaku, joined United in a £75m deal from Everton in 2017, scored 42 goals in 96 games during his spell at Old Trafford.
However, he was one of several players to struggle last season, scoring 15 times in all competitions as the club finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to win any silverware.
The Belgium international also saw his time game-time reduced following Solskjaer’s arrival in December, with the Norwegian frequently electing to play Marcus Rashford up front.
Lukaku has previously suggested that he, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, who recently joined Lukaku at Inter as part of a loan deal, were used as scapegoats in United’s disappointing season.
And he reaffirmed that belief, adding: “That was my feeling at the time. If you look back at it, I am not wrong.
“The thing about me is that I always speak the truth. What I think is what I am going to say. It is what I felt. It is what I saw.
“But I cannot always look back and say this and this and this happened and Ole was not the right manager for me. I cannot do that.
“Me and Ole tried to work together but at one point I had to be honest with him. He was also honest with me. We found an agreement. I wanted to go. He understood why I wanted to go.
“It is something I will always be grateful to him for. We had a conversation man to man. I told him how I felt and he understood.
“He will always get massive respect from me and massive protection.”