Former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has revealed that Romelu Lukaku was the first choice striker target for Antonio Conte in the summer transfer window.

The Belgium international was close to rejoining the west London club from Everton in July, while Manchester United manager was chasing Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata. The Champions League winners and the Red Devils failed to agree a fee for the former Juventus man.

United ended their interest in Morata and completed the signing of Lukaku for £75m ($96.5m). Chelsea decided to allow 29-year-old Diego Costa to leave the club and were in the market for a replacement.

Conte convinced the Chelsea board to bring the Spain international to Stamford Bridge after their failure to land the ex-Everton striker. Emenalo heaped praise on Morata and stressed the Blues manager is now happy having the 25-year-old as his first choice striker.

"As everybody knows in every walk of life, you develop an idea and you have a policy in mind and you have an intent, and if it doesn't go the way you want, there is some level of disappointment," Emenalo told talkSPORT.

"But I can tell you today Conte is extremely happy with Alvaro Morata, and I think that is down to Morata and is also down to the fantastic work they do at Cobham."

Emenalo stepped down from his post as Chelsea's technical director in November. Three weeks later, he was appointed as AS Monaco's sporting director. He will be working under the leadership of the club's vice-president and CEO, Vadim Vasilyev.

The Nigerian's desire to find a new challenge convinced him to leave the Premier League winners.

"I had a wonderful 10 years at Chelsea, with positive pressure and lot of things that happened. I just felt that things were in place and things looked very solid and very stable and I needed a new challenge," he explained.

"When you've been at a place for so long, I haven't really had a chance to step out and breathe and see what's out there.

"I have been very focused on everything Chelsea and it just came to a time, right bang on ten years, where I felt it was time for me to go and do something else."

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku moved to Manchester United from Everton Getty