Romelu Lukaku wants to return to Inter Milan if the club can agree a deal with Chelsea.
Inter cannot afford to sign Lukaku on a permanent deal, and the final decision over his future will be down to Chelsea’s new owners.
Lukaku’s lawyer will meet Inter on Tuesday to enquire about the feasibility of a potential move back to Serie A, according to Sky in Italy.
The 29-year-old moved to Chelsea for £97.5m last summer and admitted his desire to return to Inter in the future in a controversial interview with Sky in Italy last December.
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta has said the club are in “no rush” over Lukaku’s potential return but remain keen on re-signing him this summer.
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However, they would struggle to offer Chelsea anything near the fee they received from them for the Belgium striker last summer.
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Lukaku failed to justify his hefty price tag this season, struggling for game time under Thomas Tuchel despite finishing the season as the club’s top scorer with 15 goals.
Inter are in the market for a forward this summer and Marotta said he “hopes” Paulo Dybala will sign for them after leaving Juventus upon the expiry of his contract.
Which positions are Chelsea targeting?
Sky Sports News’ senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
Chelsea are pressing ahead with their summer recruitment plans now that the £4.25bn Todd Boehly-led consortium takeover of the club has been completed.
The Blues have a verbal agreement already in place with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.
Talks on a deal for Kounde had collapsed last year but there is optimism from all parties it will get done this time.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe is part of a shortlist of central defensive options and is Thomas Tuchel’s preference. Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol are also among those being looked at.
Chelsea like Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but the expectation is he will end up at Real Madrid. PSV’s Ibrahim Sangare is among the alternatives scouted.
What should Chelsea do this summer?
Sky Sports football journalist Joe Shread:
Given Chelsea were crowned European champions just 12 months ago, it’s perhaps surprising to hear Thomas Tuchel talking of the need for a “rebuild” this summer, as he did after his side ended their season with a home win over Watford. But that Champions League triumph in 2021 came out of the blue – Chelsea were fourth in the Premier League that year – and this arduous campaign has exposed the issues in the head coach’s squad.
While Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been able to build squads to meet their specific demands, Tuchel has had to pull together a group of players signed by six different managers. With Todd Boehly now in charge, the time has come to back Tuchel and allow to him build his own squad capable of launching a title challenge for the first time since 2017.
The work must start in defence, where the departing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen must be replaced with two quality centre-backs. The time may also have come to replace Cesar Azpilicueta – a Chelsea legend but now 32 and reportedly keen on a return to Spain – with a more dynamic right-back. The Blues’ reliance on Marcos Alonso – after Ben Chilwell’s injury – cost them this season and with the left-back also said to be keen to go back to Spain, signing a replacement should be on the to-do list.
In midfield, decisions need to be made on the futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who are in their 30s and have just one year remaining on their contracts. Chelsea cannot allow them to go the same way as Rudiger and Christensen and leave for free, so must decide whether to offer them new deals this summer or let them go for a fee. Even if Kante stays, a younger option in the Frenchman’s mould should be sought given the amount of time he has been unavailable in recent seasons.
Attack is the area of Chelsea’s team that received the most investment in recent windows, but the Blues shouldn’t be put off from looking to strengthen their goalscoring options if an opportunity presents itself. The last player to score 20 goals in a season for the club was Eden Hazard, and he left three years ago, so clearly there is room for improvement in that area.