Romelu Lukaku has not yet been officially announced as a Manchester United player, but he sat down with ESPN FC in Los Angeles for an exclusive interview about just why he chose the evil empire over the club he (supposedly) supported as a boy and was (supposedly) all ready to sign for even just a couple weeks ago.
“It’s the biggest club in the world.”
“This is an opportunity that I've always wanted since I was a child. When [Manchester United] came calling, I didn't have to think twice. So I'm really delighted to hopefully be part of their history."
“Who would say no to the biggest club in the world?”
Yeah, we got it.
"Best stadium in England. The best fans. This is the perfect opportunity. I always said I wanted to play for a team that's challenging for every trophy that there is.
"I think Manchester United at the minute wants to be the dominant team, that dominant force. If you look at their history, it says enough. To become part of a club like them is something that I really wanted. I'm thankful for the opportunity that they gave me.
"Now it's time to work hard, work harder than I ever did before. I'm willing to do it. Hopefully, it will come a good way."
Pouring it on a bit thick, aren’t we?
So that’s the bit that’s in the video.
In the published article, Lukaku was also asked about the role party-buddy Paul Pogba has played in tapping him up, and the former Chelsea big hope has revealed that it’s been a plan 7-8 years in the making. (Wait, what?)
"I've been talking to [Pogba] for about seven or eight years. And now he's living in Manchester. I live in Manchester. He lives like down the road from where I live, so we're together on a daily basis.”
Pogba’s words, like sweet sweet honey on the brain.
"He was explaining to me how it went at the club, and it triggered something in my head. When the opportunity came, I didn't have to think twice. I'm really excited.
“All of [the Man United players]. I think they're all top players, a good group of guys that is hungry to win trophies. And to play in front of those fans, everything is set there to perform. But, you know, I have to work harder than I'm doing now. I know the road is still far, but I'm willing to go on that path and grab the opportunity that I get."
Don’t worry, ESPN also quizzed the 24-year-old soon-to-be most expensive player in the world about reuniting with the man who didn’t think Romelu Lukaku would ever be good enough to be Romelu Lukaku.
“[Mourinho is] a guy who I wanted to play for since I was 10 years old, so now to have the opportunity to work under him again is great. We've been in contact. He explained to me how the club was like, what he expects from me.”
"You know, we were together under different circumstances. Obviously, the first time when I met him, I was still a young kid, and I was eager to play. And he understood my decision why I left at the time. I returned on the pitch.”
"Now I'm 24. I'm a grown man. He sees the maturity that has grown throughout the years, so I'm really thankful for the opportunity he gave me again."
Whoa, what’s happening here?
“I think he wants to improve me, make me a better player than I am today, which is good. I always want to improve. I always want to work on the good stuff, but also the bad stuff. He knows how to make players better, and make from players winners as well.”
"For me, I think it's the perfect opportunity. I'm 24. I never won a major trophy, but I'm eager to win something and to be part of a team that wins trophies, and I think he's the right guy to help me in that.”
-Romelu Lukaku; source: ESPN
So, that’s that. Now we wait the official confirmation.
Lukaku and Mourinho visit the Bridge on the weekend of November 4. Should be fun!