Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is expected to return to Inter Milan this summer and the two clubs are believed to have agreed a loan for the Belgium international
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Inter Milan have reached an agreement with Chelsea to re-sign Romelu Lukaku on loan… but there is no obligation for the Italian side to sign him permanently.
The Belgium international, 29, has struggled to form since joining the Blues from Inter last August for £97.5 million. He has scored just eight goals in the Premier League and often struggled to keep ahead of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in the pecking order.
Lukaku’s Chelsea future has been in doubt since he claimed in a surprising interview with the Italian press in December that he was “not happy” with manager Thomas Tuchel’s tactics. He also announced his love for Inter during the controversial chat.
Reports earlier this week suggested the Premier League outfit was willing to re-rent Lukaku from Inter this summer for a season. The two clubs have since been in talks about a loan and they have settled for just £7million.
Perhaps most tellingly, the proposed deal does not include a clause for Inter to sign Lukaku on a permanent basis when the loan expires in June 2023 – that is Chelsea’s wish to get him off their wage bill. He reportedly earns £325,000 a week at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku’s value can decrease significantly if the transient action doesn’t go according to plan. He will turn 30 by next summer and have three years left on his current contract. The proposed move is subject to a medical assessment and is not expected to be announced any time soon.
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Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly would like to loan Lukaku to Inter. It is claimed that he believes the deal is the best course of action and that he will use the budget generated to improve Tuchel’s squad ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Tuchel is after at least one new central defender after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. The Blues finished third in the Premier League last season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City.
Lukaku enjoyed two fruitful seasons at Inter under former manager Antonio Conte. He scored 64 goals in 95 appearances and helped them win Serie A in 2020/21. They also reached the Europa League final in 2019-20, losing 3-2 to Sevilla, Spain.
In December, Lukaku said: “I am not happy with the situation, this is normal. I think the coach has chosen to play with a different system, I just should not give up and continue to work and become a professional. I I’m a worker and I can’t give up.”
About Inter, Lukaku added: “How I left Inter, how I communicated with the fans, this bothers me because now is not the right time, but even when I left, it was not the right time.
“Now I think it is right to speak because I have always said that I have Inter in my heart, I will return to play there, I really hope so. I am in love with Italy, this is rightly the time to to talk and let people know what really happened without talking bad about people, because that’s not me.”
Lukaku will not be fondly remembered by Chelsea supporters if he leaves the club again. He did not score in his first stint with the club between 2011 and 2014, playing just 15 games and being loaned out to Premier League rivals West Brom and Everton.