After the Australia leg of Manchester United’s tour of the Far East is over, the 20-time Premier League champions head to Singapore for the commencement of the International Champions Cup.
Although still technically a friendly, it gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to see his players test themselves against some elite European outfits. First up is a game against Serie A giants, Inter Milan.
Jordan @ Old Trafford Faithful: First of all, tell us a bit about yourself and SempreInter?
Nima @ SempreInter: Hi Jordan, I’m a football journalist specialised in Italian football and specifically Inter. I started SempreInter in my bedroom in February 2012, we first wrote only in Swedish, but in 2014, we started writing English. Since then we’ve quickly become and maintained our position as, the biggest Inter news English website in the world – with more than 1 million people from all over the globe visiting every year.
Jordan @ OTF: It really is wonderful to have you on! Where else to start but Romelu Lukaku… Do you like him as a player? Do you think a deal will happen?
Nima @ SempreInter: I think the British tabloids are so exaggerated in their treatment of players, either you’re the greatest footballer to ever grace the earth or you’re not worth the dirt under the grass you play on.
United had a very poor season in 2018/19 and Lukaku was one of the important players who failed to deliver. But he was far from alone from being poor at United and it’s easy to forget he’s still only 26, so he’s far from the finished article.
Everywhere he’s been, Lukaku has scored goals for fun. He’s also great in the air while being a strong, physical force who is more than capable of linking up with other players. I hope it happens for all parties as United clearly don’t want him, Conte and Inter do want him and he seems to like the idea of moving to Inter…
However, Ed Woodward seems unable to lower his absurdly inflated price tag on Lukaku so I wouldn’t be surprised if the deal didn’t happen, but I hope it does go through…
Jordan @ OTF: Well I’m not sure asking for the £75m they paid to sign Lukaku is absurd, but I see what you mean… Anyway, Like United, Inter has had their own struggles recently. You seem to be heading in the right direction again now though, are you feeling positive?
Nima @ SempreInter: Very positive. It’s easy to forget that Suning bought a majority stake at Inter only 3 years ago. The work that’s been done on and off the pitch is nothing short of remarkable since.
Jordan @ OTF: Indeed. I’m jealous of the Champions League qualification, I must say… For United, this is the first game in the International Champions Cup, are you a fan of that pre-season tournament format?
Nima @ SempreInter: I think it’s an excellent way for clubs to market the sport in general, as well as growing their own brands in important growing markets like the USA and Asia. I definitely think it’s good for the teams to play each other as opposed to just working on the training ground.
Jordan @ OTF: Agreed, it’s always nice to test yourself against the best. Lukaku aside, are there any other United players who you’d think would fit into the Inter team?
Nima @ SempreInter: An in-form David De Gea would walk right into the starting line-up of every single team in the world bar Liverpool, who in my honest opinion has the best goalkeeper on the planet in Alisson Becker. ..
Aside from him, Paul Pogba too, if you could somehow prevent him from continuing with the diva antics and get him to play for the team, would start in every single midfield in the world. There’s no doubt about his talent and ability…
Jordan @ OTF: Dave stays but you can have Pogba! On the flip side, is there anyone from Inter who’d be perfect for United?
Nima @ SempreInter: I think United made a big mistake on their part not getting Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic when Jose Mourinho was after the duo about two years ago…
They would have suited United to the letter. Now both of those ships have sailed, but aside from the Croatian duo, in my opinion, Milan Skriniar and Mauro Icardi are two players who I think would walk right into a United starting lineup in the game.
Jordan @ OTF: I’d love to see Skriniar at Old Trafford… Sticking with United, what are your early thoughts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a manager?
Nima @ SempreInter: It’s pretty early to make any sort of judgement on him as a manager but I’m again astounded how Ed Woodward has not lifted a finger to get rid of the players Solskjaer wanted out as well as bring in the players he wanted in…
David Moyes was brought in and immediately looked out of his depth, Louis Van Gaal was deemed negative in his attitude while Mourinho played anti-football and was too defensive…
Now Solskjaer, who is positive and plays a typical traditional United brand of football, has come in echoing exactly what his predecessors have stated about that dressing room still nothing happens… At what point is it no longer the managers fault and the blame is placed at the feet of a man who in my honest opinion has no business at Manchester United?
Jordan @ OTF: Hear hear. It seems like everyone knows Woodward is a specialist in failure except our incompetent board! Finally, give us a score prediction?
Nima @ SempreInter: The start of the Premier League season is only 2 weeks away whilst it’s another month before the Serie A starts. So naturally, United’s pre-season has been going on for longer so there’s no doubt in my mind that United will look fitter and more alert than Inter who quite literally started their pre-season on July 7th…
Jordan @ OTF: It sounds to me like you’re favouring a United victory! We’ll go for a slender 2-1 United win… Thanks, Nima!
Do check out @SempreInterCom on Twitter, and also keep an eye out as they’ve got an app coming soon!