Belgian striker is moving to Old Trafford from Everton with Portuguese boss playing a huge part
ROMELU LUKAKU has thanked Jose Mourinho for giving him another chance to be a champion.
Mourinho sold the Belgian to Everton for £28million in the summer of 2014 when he was Chelsea boss.
Back then he believed the striker did not have the right attitude to compete for a place at a top club.
Now the pair are back together after Manchester United completed an initial £75m purchase of the 26-goal ace.
And Lukaku told ESPN: “We were together under different circumstances. The first time 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.
“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.
“He is a guy who I wanted to play for since I was ten years old, so now to have the opportunity to work under him again is great.
“He explained what the club is like, what he expects from me.
“Jose wants to improve me, make me a better player, which is good. I always want to improve.
“He knows how to make players better — and make players winners. It’s the perfect opportunity.
“I’ve never won a major trophy but I’m eager to win something and to be part of a team that wins trophies. Jose Mourinho’s the right guy to help me in that.”
Lukaku snubbed a return to champions Chelsea, believing it is United who are set to be the dominant force in English football again.
He added: “It’s the biggest club in the world. It’s a club that’s hungry to win the league again, to be dominant in the world again.
“Manchester United want to be that dominant team, that dominant force, and if you look at the history it says enough.
“To become part of a club is something I really wanted.”
Lukaku has been on holiday here in LA with his good friend — and new team-mate — Paul Pogba.
And the burly Belgium international admitted it was the world’s most expensive player who helped him make up his mind.
The 6ft 3in hitman said: “Paul 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.”
Chelsea thought they had Lukaku lined up and even made a late £75m bid in an attempt to hijack his move to Old Trafford.
But Lukaku said: “My mind was already set. I gave my word and I don’t look back.
“I was already mentally preparing to be part of the team.”
The star met up with his new team-mates last night as boss Mourinho flew in with a 27-man squad for United’s five-match USA tour.
United keeper Sam Johnstone, 24, is set to rejoin Aston Villa on loan today after Mourinho left him out of the pre-season squad.
The Red Devils play their first game against LA Galaxy on Saturday.
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