Romelu Lukaku's goalscoring record should have earned him more respect in England, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

Manchester United sold 26-year-old Lukaku to Serie A side Inter in August for a reported €80million.

The striker hit 27 competitive goals in his first season at Old Trafford but that figure fell to 15 last term as critics questioned aspects of his game and conditioning.

Martinez managed the former PFA Team of the Year member at Everton, where he spent four prolific years, and believes his overall impact in the Premier League went undervalued.

Only 18 players have ever scored more goals in the competition than Lukaku's 113 from 252 appearances.

"Romelu hasn't been appreciated for most of the time he's been in the British game," Martinez told the Daily Mail.

"And the reason is very clear. Everyone analyses what he hasn't got as a number nine. Everyone wants to tell him the first touch should be better, that he should be stronger in the air, that he needs to make more room.

"But what they miss is his outstanding trade as a goalscorer. Look at his stats. He is one of the most significant scorers at his age.

"Like any player, if you are going to highlight the things they don't do well, you wouldn't get the feeling of a good player.

"But in Romelu's case, he's always been a top goalscorer."

Lukaku's move made him the third high-profile member of Belgium's starting XI to leave the Premier League during the close season, after Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany.

Kevin De Bruyne remains at Manchester City and has enjoyed an exceptional and injury-free start to the new season.

Asked whether there is a better midfielder in world football, Martinez replied: "No, no, no, definitely not.

"Kevin De Bruyne is a modern playmaker. Xabi Alonso at Liverpool or Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona – when they received the ball, everything had to slow down and this allowed them to execute the pass.

"De Bruyne, he executes passes before the flow of the game has seen it, before people have seen it."

Daniel James' brilliant opener in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Southampton continued a stunning start to life in the Premier League for the Wales youngster.

James capped an opening weekend thumping of Chelsea and was also on target in last weekend's 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.

Three goals in his first four United appearances places the 21-year-old in some elite company but being prolific in your opening games for the club does not necessary mean long-term success.

Here are the other Red Devils who got off to a flyer in the Premier League era.

Robin van Persie – four in three

Van Persie's decision to shun Manchester City to move to United from Arsenal instantly endeared him to the Old Trafford faithful. His debut from the bench could not avert a 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park, but he thrashed in a sublime volley in a 3-2 win over Fulham before a hat-trick saw off Southampton by the same margin. The Dutch forward maintained his prolific form, scoring 26 Premier League goals as United sent Alex Ferguson into retirement with one more title.

Louis Saha – four in four

Rarely do January signings prove such an instant hit as Saha, following his switch from Fulham midway through the 2003-04 campaign. He opened the scoring in wins over Southampton and Everton, completing a double in the latter game. The France international did likewise at Fulham before his old employers battled back to a 1-1 draw. Saha collected a pair of Premier League medals and also became a Champions League winner during his time at United, although injuries frequently interrupted his progress.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – four in four

Never likely to tolerate a quiet introduction to English football, Ibrahimovic drove in from long range to cap a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on his debut in 2016. His double to sink Southampton ensured a memorable maiden turn at Old Trafford, where he also found the target in a derby loss to Manchester City. Ibrahimovic scored 28 times in 46 appearances as United claimed EFL Cup and Europa League glory. However, a serious knee injury meant he was a spectator for the latter triumph and an underwhelming return the following season preceded his move to LA Galaxy.

Romelu Lukaku – four in four

It would have been very hard to envisage Lukaku being hastily bundled out of Old Trafford to Inter without a replacement being sought after he produced an instant return on Jose Mourinho's £75million investment in 2017. The Belgium striker hit a brace in a 4-0 opening-weekend win over West Ham. He also scored as Swansea were beaten by the same margin and netted in a 2-2 draw at Stoke City to go four in four. It was part of a hot streak of 16 goals across 13 appearances for club and country – something Antonio Conte clearly has designs on Lukaku rediscovering at Inter.

Dwight Yorke - three in four

Some eyebrows were raised when Ferguson paid a then club-record £12.6m to bring in Yorke from Aston Villa in August 1998. Although he drew a blank in a 0-0 debut at West Ham, a brace against Charlton Athletic – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also at the double in a 4-0 win – got him off and running. The opener in a 2-0 victory against Coventry City next time out ensured United had a new hero who would prove pivotal in that season's historic treble.

Anthony Martial – three in four

Like James, Martial came off the bench to delight Old Trafford on his debut, dispatching an unforgettable solo effort to down bitter rivals Liverpool. Southampton, who would seemingly do well to avoid attackers in the early stages of their United careers if possible, then copped for a brace at St Mary's. Now restored to a central striking role in a depleted attack, the onus is on Martial to make good on that early promise this season.

Marcus Rashford – three in four

The remaining member of United's first-choice attack also flew out of the blocks. Rashford was Louis van Gaal's most successful punt on youth during his time in charge – a brace against Arsenal on his 2016 Premier League bow actually followed a Europa League double versus FC Midtjylland the preceding midweek. On his fourth league appearance, Rashford brilliantly scored the only goal to sink City in the derby.

Romelu Lukaku has hit back at Gary Neville for calling him unprofessional and overweight following the sour end to his two-year stay at Manchester United.

Belgium international Lukaku left Old Trafford for Inter in early August after falling to the fringes of the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The former Chelsea and Everton striker hit 27 competitive goals in his first season with United but the level of his performances tailed off last term amid concerns over his conditioning.

Former captain Neville enthusiastically welcomed his departure, writing "unprofessionalism is contagious" in a social media post referencing Lukaku, who believes the criticism is unjustified.

"Don't question my professionalism," Lukaku told the BBC.

"I live for this game. I am at home all the time. I try to do everything to improve.

"[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."

Lukaku admitted last season was a "bad year" for him but holds no ill towards manager Solskjaer after the pair agreed it was time to part ways.

Negotiations over a proposed move to Inter dragged on until the Serie A side upped their offer to a reported €80million.

"Me and Ole tried to work together but at one point I had to be honest with him. He was also honest with me," the 26-year-old said.

"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."

Alexis Sanchez's Manchester United nightmare has come to a temporary end after he joined Serie A side Inter on loan.

Neither club confirmed if there is a purchase option included in the deal, which was announced on Thursday.

Inter were keen to land Roma striker Edin Dzeko before he extended his contract with the capital club and the Nerazzurri then turned to Sanchez, who returns to Italy after leaving Udinese for Barcelona in 2011.

There were high hopes for Sanchez at United following his arrival from Premier League rivals Arsenal in January 2018 – a deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to the Gunners.

However, Chile international forward Sanchez failed to make an impact at Old Trafford, where injuries and poor form contributed to a miserable spell.

Sanchez only managed five goals in 45 appearances across all competitions, with three of those strikes coming in the Premier League.

The 30-year-old, who featured at the Copa America, did not make an appearance for United in 2019-20, having not taken part in any pre-season fixtures following his international commitments with Chile.

Sanchez will become the fifth Chilean to play for Inter, following in the footsteps of Ivan Zamorano, David Pizarro, Luis Jimenez and Gary Medel.

Alexis Sanchez has wished Manchester United good luck for the 2019-20 season ahead of completing an expected move to Inter.

Sanchez flew to Milan this week for a medical and an announcement for his season-long loan deal is thought to be imminent.

Inter are reportedly not paying a loan fee to United, though the Nerazzurri will contribute towards the forward's wages.

"Good luck boys for the rest of the season," Sanchez posted on Instagram alongside two photographs of him with United team-mates.

Sanchez struggled to make an impact at United after joining from Arsenal in January 2018 and fell out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He only scored three Premier League goals for the club and has been allowed to depart despite United's lack of attacking options.

Solskjaer will only have Marcus Rashford and teenager Mason Greenwood available to face Southampton at the weekend as Anthony Martial is injured.

Sanchez will reunite with another former United forward Romelu Lukaku at Inter, who scored on his Serie A debut for against Lecce in a 4-0 win.

Alexis Sanchez landed in Milan on Wednesday and is expected to complete a loan move from Manchester United to Inter.

Sanchez has yet to feature for United this term, having fallen out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Inter have already signed one forward from Old Trafford in August, landing Romelu Lukaku for a club-record fee of €80million (£74m).

Chile international Sanchez has endured a miserable time in Manchester since his arrival in January 2018, scoring three Premier League goals in 32 appearances.

The former Arsenal attacker looks set for a return to Serie A, having represented Udinese between 2008 and 2011, and a reunion with Lukaku under new Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte.

Sanchez was snapped in Milan after flying into Italy, with the 30-year-old expected to undergo a medical imminently.

Inter star Romelu Lukaku is yet to show his full potential as Antonio Conte warned the former Manchester United striker has room for improvement.

Lukaku enjoyed a goalscoring debut for Inter, who opened their Serie A season with a 4-0 rout of newly promoted 10-man Lecce on Monday.

A club-record signing from Premier League giants United following a drawn-out transfer saga, Lukaku capped his Inter bow by scoring the team's third goal on the hour mark.

Lukaku produced an impressive display at San Siro, where Conte's era in charge started with a win, and the new head coach praised the 26-year-old.

"Let's not forget he is only 26, he's got a potential we can work on a lot; I believe that despite the fact he arrived late, we tried to work and he made himself available with great effort," Conte told reporters.

"Today already Romelu showed what kind of a player he is. And why the club insisted on getting this kind of player. But I am very happy, I knew him as a player, but from a human perspective, I didn't know him. It was a pleasing discovery.

"He really integrated into the team with humility, he made himself available to the team-mates, and everybody loves him.

"He's just 26, has margins for improvement, he's got to work. He must take advantage even more of the skills he has, because in my opinion he's got skills that he hasn't shown yet, he hasn't shown everything yet, in his football career."

Conte added via Sky Sport Italia: "Let's not forget Lukaku cost €65million to be paid over five years, so when people talk about big money spent, it wasn't even that much.

"Tonight, Lukaku showed why we tried so hard to sign him."

Marcelo Brozovic and Antonio Candreva scored stunning goals, while fellow recruit Stefano Sensi was also on target against Lecce in Milan.

Antonio Conte described Romelu Lukaku as a "gentle giant" after Inter's record signing got off the mark on his Serie A debut in a 4-0 thumping of 10-man Lecce.

Lukaku and Stefano Sensi scored on their Inter bows on Monday, while Marcelo Brozovic and Antonio Candreva hit brilliant finishes to open and wrap up the scoring respectively.

The Belgium striker impressed with his high energy levels and sharp build-up play, although he prevented Matteo Politano from adding his name to the scoresheet by being caught offside.

Conte previously wanted to bring Lukaku to Chelsea during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge and he is enjoying finally getting to work with the former Manchester United man.

"Lukaku stepped into the Inter world in the best possible way, with great humility," Conte told DAZN.

"He is a gentle giant, he always has a smile on his face. He is ready to work for the team and is at the disposal of his team-mates.

"I also want to highlight that Lautaro Martinez also played very well and everyone deserves praise.

"It was only the first game, so we can celebrate until midnight, but from tomorrow we have to start thinking about the next match with Cagliari."

Conte became only the third Inter coach to win his first Serie A game in charge by four goals, following club legends Giuseppe Meazza and Helenio Herrera into the history books as promoted Lecce - who had Diego Farias sent off at 3-0 - were put to the sword.

But perfectionist Conte still feels his side have plenty of room for improvement despite an impressive win sending them top of the table at the end of the opening round of games.

"We started with the right intensity and respected the idea of football that I wanted," the former Juventus and Italy coach said. 

"However, I did not appreciate at all the minutes after we went 2-0 up and I told the lads that. I wanted us to immediately get back on it and not be distracted, or think it was over.

"It was a good performance and you can see the ideas there. It's an excellent result, because Lecce are a good team and there is always the risk of stumbling in these fixtures. We didn't want that for us or our fans.

"We have some more steps to take, such as improving the mental consistency and focus, but I am very satisfied and it is a pleasure to work with these lads.

"This version of 3-5-2 is certainly a more attacking evolution of the old 4-2-4. I think that I have the men suited to this type of system and midfielders ready to push forward.

"We must not be a spark, we have to become dynamite."

Romelu Lukaku scored on his Inter debut as Antonio Conte's reign began with an impressive 4-0 victory over Lecce at San Siro.

Club-record signing Lukaku started up front on Monday with former captain Mauro Icardi left out of Conte's squad amid continued uncertainty over his future at the club.

Marcelo Brozovic and Stefano Sensi struck excellent goals in the space of four first-half minutes then Lukaku snaffled a rebound for his maiden Inter goal.

Promoted Lecce's day went from bad to worse when substitute Diego Farias rightly saw red for a terrible tackle on another new Inter arrival Nicolo Barella, before Antonio Candreva's 84th-minute stunner from range.

Inter, who had to replace Stefan de Vrij with Andrea Ranocchia after the Dutchman's injury in the warm-up, took time to find their feet but scored the first goal of the Conte era in the 21st minute.

Brozovic bent home a beauty from just outside the area and it was soon 2-0 thanks to another excellent strike, as Sensi scored on his first appearance.

The midfielder, who joined Inter on loan from Sassuolo in July, advanced into space and arrowed a 20-yard drive into the bottom-left corner.

Marco Calderoni thumped a shot just wide as Lecce briefly threatened early in the second half but a long-range Lautaro Martinez shot was spilled by debutant goalkeeper Gabriel and former Manchester United striker Lukaku reacted quickest to slot home the loose ball on the hour mark.

Inter were cruising thereafter and Conte replaced Matias Vecino with Barella, who was the victim of an awful lunge that saw Farias dismissed in the 76th minute.

Substitute Matteo Politano had a fine goal ruled out for Lukaku being offside, but Candreva added late gloss to the scoreline with a 30-yard thunderbolt that ripped into the top-left corner.


What does it mean? Good signs for Conte

Inter are being widely backed as the most likely contenders to usurp Juventus thanks to the arrival of Conte - a three-time Scudetto-winning coach with the Bianconeri.

He used his typical system of three at the back and although Inter initially showed signs of nerves they went on to dominate Fabio Liverani's side, who almost certainly face a relegation battle after successive promotions.

Lukaku finds early form

Having lost his place at Old Trafford last term, there were suggestions an old-school style operator like Lukaku could find himself left behind as elite European teams seek more mobile strikers to lead the line.

But Conte has always preferred a strong "reference" point for his attack and Lukaku fits that billing, with the Belgium international impressing when he dropped deep to link the play and showing a poacher's instinct to open his Nerazzurri account.

Gabriel's dream debut falls flat

There was nothing Gabriel could do about Inter's first two goals, but any slim hopes of a Lecce fightback died when he pushed Martinez's effort back into the danger zone. The former AC Milan keeper will not have happy memories of his return to San Siro.

What's next?

Inter return to action on Sunday with a trip to Cagliari, who signed Radja Nainggolan on loan during the close season, while Lecce will hope for a fairer test of their top-flight mettle when they host Verona on the same day.

Romelu Lukaku was handed his first Inter start in Antonio Conte's Serie A bow for the club against Lecce.

Inter get their league campaign under way on Monday with former captain Mauro Icardi left out of the squad amid uncertainty over his future.

Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara has indicated the striker wants to stay at the club despite being told he is free to leave.

Conte picked Stefano Sensi in midfield after the Italy international joined the Nerazzurri on loan from Sassuolo.

Fellow new signing Nicolo Barella was on the bench and Argentina attacker Lautaro Martinez was selected to partner Lukaku in attack.

Defender Diego Godin, who joined Inter on a free transfer after leaving Atletico Madrid, missed out due to injury.

Mauro Icardi is not causing any issues for Inter coach Antonio Conte, who insists the unsettled striker's failure to secure a move away from San Siro has not hindered preparations for the new season.

Inter handed Icardi the number seven shirt for the 2019-20 campaign in a move that indicated he is expected to remain at the club, where he was stripped of the captaincy last term.

The 26-year-old was widely expected to leave in the close season and was linked with Juventus and Monaco.

However, with Icardi still at Inter and the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, it appears Conte will be left with a player deemed surplus to requirements.

Asked about the effect of Icardi's continued presence by the media, Conte said: "I have great respect for everyone, but I don't feel any disturbance.

"We are working hard, we know full well what approach has been taken with the player, but it is not causing any disturbance for me."

Inter open against Lecce at San Siro on Monday, with Conte making clear that the aim for his side is to close the gap on last season's top two, Juventus and Napoli.

The Nerazzurri finished fourth, 10 points behind second-placed Napoli, but Conte believes Lukaku's arrival can boost their chances of improving this term.

"Lukaku arrived full of enthusiasm," said Conte. "He is a very joyful guy to be around and the team immediately welcomed him into their hearts.

"He was on the margins of the Manchester United squad for a while, so is not at 100 per cent, but has immense potential and can improve in every area.

"I tried him out alongside Lautaro Martinez, Matteo Politano and Sebastiano Esposito, so I am pleased with the synergy that is forming between these players.

"I always said that I wanted to feel even a one per cent chance of competing for victory. We are building something important here and I can say that the chase is on.

"We aim to close the gap, which is pretty large, from the top two. I don't set limits, only time will tell what we are fighting for, but we've got to work even better than the rest if we want to achieve something extraordinary."

Alexis Sanchez is not certain to leave Manchester United even though there are ongoing transfer talks with interested clubs, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Chile forward Sanchez was not in the matchday squad for United's first two Premier League games of the season with Chelsea and Wolves, having not taken part in any pre-season fixtures following his efforts at the Copa America.

The 30-year-old has been heavily linked with Inter, who have already signed Romelu Lukaku from United in this transfer window and are said to be interested in a loan deal.

It is claimed Sanchez's wage demands are proving a problem for the Nerazzurri, though, with Italy's transfer deadline just 10 days away.

Solskjaer appears unsure of what will happen with Sanchez, but he was pleased with his efforts in a behind-closed-doors friendly match against Sheffield United this week and does not seem desperate to see the player go.

"There's still talks with some clubs, but he played in that game and played well," Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. "So, as I've said, he's working hard and let's see in September what's going to happen."

Lukaku caused a stir this week when a podcast apparently recorded while he was still a United player was published, in which the striker accused United of effectively nudging him out of the club by failing to protect him from public criticism and transfer speculation.

Solskjaer refused to become embroiled in the matter, saying: "I'm not going to dive into that one. That interview was made before the summer, wasn't it? When he was a Man United player? So, I think I'd rather not."

United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday after taking four points from their first two league matches of the season at home to Chelsea and away to Wolves.

Solskjaer has been encouraged by the fitness displayed in those performances, having been concerned by the way his players allowed their intensity to drop in matches towards the end of last season.

"The team spirt is great, we've got loads of energy and passion. You can see that with the way we went about the game with Wolverhampton," he said.

"I thought our pressing was excellent. We gave them five minutes in the second half and that was it, really, when they had the ball and pushed us back but, apart from that, the engine looks so much better.

"Everyone's fit and when you're physically fit it's easier to be mentally strong as well.

"[Palace] are a very organised team. They've got pace up front for counter-attacks, strong on set-pieces, so, of course, we know we have to do all parts of the game.

"We have to attack well, we have to win the ball back when we're losing it and we've got to be strong on set plays."

Solskjaer also confirmed that full-back Diogo Dalot is likely to be out of action until after the international break next month due to injury.

Romelu Lukaku has hit out at Manchester United for not doing enough to protect him in the media and claims he, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez were continually made scapegoats.

Belgium international Lukaku joined Inter before the close of the Premier League transfer window for a reported fee of €75million, just two years on from his move to Old Trafford from Everton.

The 26-year-old was criticised at times for his all-round play at the head of the attack under former boss Jose Mourinho and he was supplanted as first-choice striker by Marcus Rashford after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge.

Lukaku feels there was an unjust focus on his performances as well as those of Pogba and Sanchez, who has been tipped to join him at Inter.

"They have to find somebody," Lukaku told the LightHarted Podcast, apparently recorded prior to his Inter move. "It is Pogba, it is me or it is Alexis. It's the three of us all the time.

"They have got to find somebody to blame. I put my hand up, like, this year I don't think I was the only one playing bad. A lot of people were playing bad but they had to find the culprit.

"If they want to put the blame on me, you know what, f*** it, do what you gotta do.

"I think the team has so much potential to do some great stuff. There is a lot of talent. But it is not only talent; you really have to build a team."

Lukaku also took issue with suggestions he did not suit Solskjaer's intended style of play.

"A lot of people don't think I should be part of that system," he said. "That's my feeling from the conversations that I have. I just know.

"For me, the thing that makes me laugh a lot is: how the hell is s*** going bad in my team, but when I play in my national team, it's good? And I'm happy.

"I didn't play the last six weeks of the league, like the last three weeks or something before the end of the season and then I had another three weeks off before I had to play for the national team, and then we go and play with the Belgium team.

"And nobody there complains because I think the perception in my country is changing slightly. A lot of people were saying a lot of stuff. For me, it took years for a lot of people to change their perception. Man U might not get that time. It's s*** that it happens like that.

"When I go and play for my country, we play the style of play that we want to play probably with Man United and I do well over there. So is it me? Four goals in the World Cup, three weeks ago I scored three goals in two games, and before that we played Switzerland and Iceland in September and I scored four goals in two games. I've scored 48 goals for my country.

"We all know that international soccer is different than club football but the playing style we play in the national team is the one we want to play at Man United. So is it me? Or do we need to have a conversation from man to man and tell each other the rules?"

Lukaku added that he felt United did not do enough to defend him when rumours emerged towards the end of last season that he would not be staying at the club.

"I think a lot of stuff has been said where I didn't feel protected," he added. "A lot of rumours, 'Rom is going to go there, they don't want Rom' and nobody came out and shot it down.

"It was for a good three, four weeks. I'm waiting for someone to come out and shut it down. It didn't happen. I had my conversation, told them it was better to go our separate ways. I just wanted you to say, 'Rom is going to fight for his place', but it never happened for four, five months.

"It was all, 'He's got to go, he doesn't deserve to be there'. Well, okay, then I want to go now. There is fighting for your position, but also being somewhere that people want you to be.

"If you're happy, you find a way, it doesn't matter if you're on the bench or starting. But nobody told me that was the situation, so I thought for two, three weeks to analyse, see all this s*** coming out in the media. Who leaks it? Not me. Not my agent. I see it on my phone come out of nowhere.

"I told them, 'It’s not good for me to be at a place where I'm not wanted'."

Romelu Lukaku marked his first appearance in an Inter shirt by scoring four times in his new side's emphatic win against Virtus Bergamo.

The Belgium international completed his protracted move from Manchester United on Thursday in a reported €80million (£73m) deal, ending weeks of speculation.

He did not feature at all for United during their pre-season campaign and was left out of Inter's squad for Saturday's friendly with Valencia.

However, he was part of a much-changed side that took to the field for a low-intensity encounter against Serie D minnows Bergamo on Sunday.

Handed the number nine jersey, previously warn by Mauro Icardi, Lukaku made a good first impression as he netted half of Inter's goals in an 8-0 thrashing.

Matias Vecino and Sebastiano Esposito, two other players in need of minutes, scored braces to complete the rout.

Inter begin their Serie A campaign with a home match against Lecce on August 26.

Antonio Conte is sure Romelu Lukaku will be an "excellent signing" for Inter and the coach expects the striker to work hard to settle in Milan.

Lukaku finally joined the Serie A side from Manchester United on Thursday, completing a reported €80million move after two years at Old Trafford.

Without Lukaku, Inter claimed a penalty shoot-out win over Valencia after a 1-1 draw in the Trofeo Naranja on Saturday.

Conte, in his first season at the helm, believes the Belgium international will prove to be a great addition for Inter.

"He also needs to work hard, both from a physical point of view and to get used to the way we're trying to go about things," he told Inter TV.

"He'll certainly be an excellent signing, we're really happy. He'll show great desire and commitment to get himself ready."

Inter needed an 82nd-minute penalty from Matteo Politano to draw level against Valencia, who took a first-half lead through Carlos Soler.

Conte praised Inter's character after the friendly, which he felt was another step in the right direction.

"It was a difficult and important match against an excellent side who have had the same coach for a long time. Last season, they won the Copa del Rey against Barcelona, for example," he said.

"The lads' performance was positive, because they once again displayed a desire to not give up, they didn't want to come out of the match defeated. This is a very positive thing in terms of our mentality. I said to them that they could do better, but we are working hard to improve.

"They're a bit tired because they are working from both a tactical and physical point of view in order to get up to speed. Tonight was another step forward in our development."

Inter open their Serie A campaign at home to Lecce on August 26.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.