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How Romelu Lukaku told Paul Pogba he was quitting Manchester United


Romelu Lukaku quit Manchester United in the summer after falling out of favour with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Picture: Getty)

Romelu Lukaku told Paul Pogba he had to quit Manchester United under the belief he and his now former teammate had been made scapegoats.

After making a positive initial impact having replaced Jose Mourinho a year ago, United’s form deteriorated rapidly towards the end of last season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, culminating in a failure to secure Champions League qualification.

Lukaku, who enjoyed an early purple patch under Solskjaer’s management, steadily slipped down the Norwegian’s pecking order with Marucs Rashford cementing his place as United’s focal point in attack.

Belgium international Lukaku travelled with the squad for the pre-season tour of Australia but failed to feature in any of the club’s three friendlies and was eventually sold to Inter, with United forced to make a small lost on the £75million they paid to sign him from Everton in the summer of 2017.

‘I took him (Pogba) aside and told him I was done with Manchester United,’ Lukaku revealed. ‘There was a feeling that Pogba and I were guilty of the fall of Manchester United.

Romelu Lukaku has made an impressive start to his Inter Milan career (Picture: Getty)

‘From the beginning it was a ‘Yes, but…’. I scored in the European Super Cup and they said, ‘Yes, but he got another one wrong’.

‘When I first started out in the Premier League, I scored against West Ham and they said, ‘Yeah, but…’. Since then I imagined how it would feel to leave the club. One year at United erases the previous eight.’

Pogba, meanwhile, remains a United player and made his comeback from an injury which had ruled him out since September as a second half substitute in last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Watford.

The France international’s future remains a matter of intense speculation but Solskjaer insists he still has a vital role to play at Old Trafford and could yet start against Newcastle on Boxing Day.

‘Let’s see how he reacts to this [Watford game] and how he feels,’ Solskjaer said on Tuesday.

‘He did really well when he came on. It’s a big, big plus and it might be that we do get him in from the start [against Newcastle] because you just want to get more and more [quality] into the team when he plays.

‘He can play anywhere. He can play as a holding midfielder, he’s a box-to-box midfielder.

‘He can drop deep, get it, play those long passes, he can play higher up and combine like he did [at Watford]. ‘He and Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] started creating chances down that side so it depends on the game. ‘That’s the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world.

‘He can perform all roles, but if I play him low, [some people will say] he should have played high and, if I play him high, I should have played low. ‘There’s always going to be that discussion with him. But it’s great to have him back.’

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