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Chelsea perform unexpected U-turn on future of forgotten man Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea are reportedly no longer prepared to extend Romelu Lukaku’s loan to Inter Milan for a second season.

The Belgian joined the Blues from Inter in 2021 in a club-record deal worth just shy of £100m. However, after an underwhelming year which saw him score just eight league goals and fall out of favour with then-manager Thomas Tuchel, Lukaku was allowed to return to the San Siro on loan for the season.

Despite an injury-hit return to Serie A, the Nerazzurri are said to be keen on extending the loan deal for a second year. Chelsea were also thought to be open to such an arrangement, but may now have changed their minds.

According to Calciomercato, via Football Italia, Chelsea have changed their tune after crunching the numbers. Rather than loaning Lukaku to Inter for a second season ahead of a potential permanent deal, the Blues are said to be ready to bring the striker back to London before selling over the summer.

Inter paid just £6.7m for this season’s loan, and a similar sum has been mooted when it comes to extending the arrangement for a second year. Simone Inzaghi’s side have not been put off by Lukaku’s injury issues, with the change reported to have come from Chelsea’s end.

Lukaku scored on his second debut for Inter, netting against Lecce in September. However, injuries have restricted him to just five appearances back in Milan.

While Tuchel is no longer Chelsea manager, the change in the dugout will not necessarily open the door for a shock return to the first team picture for Lukaku. Graham Potter has taken over in the dugout, but has no apparent plans to reintegrate the 29-year-old.

Lukaku is currently in Qatar with the Belgium national side, despite questions remaining over an injury which limited his involvement for Inter before the break. Reports this week suggest he is a doubt for the Red Devils’ first two group games, having last played on October 29.

He is joined in Roberto Martinez’s squad by seven Premier League players, including Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Leicester City trio Timothy Castagne, Wout Faes and Youri Tielemans. The other Premier League representatives are Brighton’s Leandro Trossard, Leander Dendoncker of Aston Villa and Everton’s summer signing Amadou Onana.

Belgium will begin their World Cup campaign on November 23 with a match against a Canadian side making only their second appearance in the finals. They will also face Morocco and Croatia in the group stages as they look to match or potentially even better their run to the semi-finals in 2018.

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Chelsea: Potter will give £325k-a-week star ‘clean slate’ at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku could get a chance at Stamford Bridge following the arrival of Graham Potter, according to journalist Simon Phillips.

The £325,000 per-week star re-signed for the Blues last year, only to join Inter Milan on loan earlier this summer after a testing first season back in the Premier League.

What’s the latest news involving Lukaku?

Lukaku returned to Chelsea in a £97.5m deal back in 2021, but he looked a shadow of the player that had just fired Inter to the Serie A title.

He scored just 15 goals in all competitions, with only eight coming in the Premier League.

As a result, he was allowed to leave early in the summer transfer window, making a swift return to San Siro.

But Lukaku will still have three years remaining on his Chelsea contract once his loan deal finishes, meaning a decision will need to be made at the end of this season.

The Londoners have signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang since Lukaku’s departure, while youngster Armando Broja has penned a new long-term contract.

Regardless, Phillips reckons that every player at the club has a “clean slate” now that Potter has arrived.

What did Phillips say about Lukaku?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I haven’t heard this personally. But it does fit with what I was told weeks ago that Potter is giving every Chelsea player a clean slate at the club and a chance to earn a place, whether that is players out on loan or already there.”

How has Lukaku performed this season?

Lukaku enjoyed the perfect return to Inter, netting just two minutes into his second debut, which set the Italian giants on their way to a 2-1 opening-day victory over Leece.

He would then register an assist the following week against Spezia Calcio, but he hasn’t scored or assisted since, although mainly because of injury.

The Belgium international hobbled off against Lazio with a muscle problem in late August, an injury which has forced him to sit out the last five weeks of action.

As a result, Lukaku has missed nine games in all competitions, which will be a concern with the World Cup fast approaching.

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Chelsea reach Lukaku decision with new transfer plans afoot, as Fabrizio Romano names defender who could leave in January

Chelsea will not cut short the loan spell of Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan, with Fabrizio Romano revealing discussions have taken place over a new plan.

Lukaku, 29, became Chelsea’s club-record signing upon arriving from Inter Milan in 2021. The Belgium international cost the Blues a hefty £97.5m, though after a bulldozing start against Arsenal and Ben White, failed to meet expectations.

He finished last season with 15 goals in 44 matches. A ratio of around one in three is far from a disaster, though is not the level of output expected from such costly signings.

What’s more, Lukaku fell foul of then-manager Thomas Tuchel. He spoke out against the German’s utilisation of him in the Italian media and his form nosedived upon being brought back in from the cold.

That led to a loan return to Inter Milan being sanctioned over the summer. The move was signed off by former director Marina Granovskaia who is one of several influential figures behind the scenes to be turfed out by the new ownership.

That led to speculation Lukaku’s loan could be cut short given Chelsea’s struggles in the final third.

However, according to Romano, Chelsea have no plans to bring him back in January. Instead, the transfer guru revealed discussions have already taken place over extending the loan spell by a further 12 months.

Chelsea, Inter “verbally discuss” new Lukaku terms

“Inter and Chelsea have an agreement on a one-year loan with no buy option included,” Romano said on his YouTube channel.

“But they already discussed for a potential second year of loan. It’ll depend on many factors, but they already verbally discussed the possibility of a second year.

“Let’s see what happens, but for now there are no plans to bring Romelu Lukaku back off loan.”

The Blues did receive a handy £6.9m loan fee from Inter and there is scope for that figure to rise if they win Serie A.

While not stated by Romano, it stands to reason a similar arrangement would be made if Lukaku’s loan is extended.

Lukaku’s contract doesn’t expire until 2026, meaning Chelsea are under no pressure to cut ties permanently just yet.

Defender exit in January?

Romano also shed light on one player who could leave in January – Trevoh Chalobah.

The centre-half, 23, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last year, racking up 30 appearances across all competitions.

However, Chalobah harbours ambitions of becoming not only a regular starter, but an integral piece of the Chelsea backline.

The outlook on that ambition looked bleak in the summer, prompting loan interest from both Milan clubs and RB Leipzig.

Chalobah was ultimately retained, though has just one appearance to his name this season. Clearly, something has to give if he is to realise his ambitions and drop the moniker of being a squad player.

Stressing Chalobah could leave in the next window, Romano added: “During the summer [he] wanted a move. He wanted a move on loan just to play, he wants to play.

“He wants to be a regular starter and have good gametime. He’s a young and talented player and wants to find some space to show and improve his skills.

“But at the end, despite negotiating with Inter Milan, AC Milan and RB Leipzig [and] despite signing Wesley Fofana Chelsea decided to keep Chalobah.

“They were waiting for the Fofana deal before giving Chalobah the green light, but they decided to keep him.”

All options open

Romano added: “At the moment he’s not finding any space at Chelsea – this is an important point.

“He wants to not only be a starter but an important player for Chelsea.

“I’m told there are already some conversations around with clubs still interested in Chalobah. There is a chance for him to leave the club in January.

Romano then suggested all options are open at present, such as a straight loan, a loan with an option to buy, or a sale with a buyback option.

“At the moment, nothing is advanced,” concluded Romano. “But at the moment there is a serious possibility for Chalobah to leave if the situation (over his minutes) continues.”

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Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano drops huge hint over Romelu Lukaku’s Chelsea future under Christoph Freund

Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on Romelu Lukaku’s situation as Chelsea look to be edging closer to appointing Christoph Freund as their new director of football.

The Blues signed Lukaku from Inter Milan just over a year ago, but he’s now back on loan at the San Siro after struggling to find his best form at Stamford Bridge last season.

Still, with Thomas Tuchel recently sacked as manager, and with Freund looking set to come in to take charge of transfers, there’s now a very different regime at Chelsea, so there’s perhaps a chance that that could mean a fresh opportunity for Lukaku to return and try to reclaim his place in the team.

Writing in his exclusive CaughtOffside column today, however, Romano has played down any chance of that happening.

So far, it seems there has been no contact with Lukaku, and Romano’s current feeling seems to be that it’s more likely the Belgium international will continue with Inter next season.

“Nothing has changed between Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea,” Romano explained.

“The point is the player, he’s only focused on Inter project and he hopes to continue there also next season.

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Graham Potter makes Graham Potter makes Romelu Lukaku return decision as contact made amid Inter Milan transfer plan return decision as contact made amid Inter Milan transfer plan

Graham Potter has issued Romelu Lukaku an ultimatum regarding his future at Chelsea as the striker edges closer to an exit. The 29-year-old was heavily linked with a permanent move from Stamford Bridge after falling out of favour under Thomas Tuchel.

Lukaku struggled to acclimatise to the Premier League upon his return, and time under the German soon ran out, which saw him relegated to the sidelines. Due to Inter Milan’s spending restrictions, the Italian giants were not willing to meet the Blues’ asking price to sign the striker outright.

Instead, the Nerazzurri opted for a season-long loan, and Chelsea negotiated a fee to be paid for Lukaku’s services. However, while the Belgium international is set to return to a new head coach at the end of the season following Tuchel’s sacking, he still faces an uncertain future at the club.

According to Calcio Mercato, the west London club does not want to take back a striker who doesn’t fit the profile of what Potter typically demands. However, the report states that Lukaku doesn’t want to return to Cobham training ground upon the end of his loan at Inter.

It’s said that initial contact has been made between Chelsea and the Italian giants regarding a solution to the Belgian stay at the San Siro beyond the agreed season-long loan. Calcio Mercato add that there are two options currently on the table; another loan or a fee in the region of £7million.

Lukaku sees his deal at Stamford Bridge expiring in 2026, but as aforementioned, there is doubt over his future at the Blues under Potter’s stewardship. And, after leaving on bad terms, a return seems unlikely regardless of the new Chelsea boss’ plans.

Speaking to DAZN Italia last month, the £60.7million-rated talisman revealed that there was anger inside of him upon his exit. He also admitted that he doesn’t see his situation at Chelsea improving.

“The season at Chelsea gave me extra motivation to do even better than before,” Lukaku said. “I think in a year, people have forgotten what I can do on the pitch. This is a kind of anger that I have inside of me.

“When I left, I had in mind to get a rematch with Chelsea. When I was young, I was at Chelsea for eleven years, and I wanted to come back to be a protagonist.

“After the last game, I started thinking about what the best situation was for me. The season for me at Chelsea was difficult, and I think things would not improve in the future and so I decided to come back here.”

 

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Chelsea’s senior players pick what striker they want to replace Romelu Lukaku with

So, Chelsea currently don’t have a sporting director, so are the players now taking that role?

I’m joking of course, but it is true that Marina Granovskaia will be leaving the club and Todd Boehly, the new owner, has taken on the role of sporting director on an interim basis.

So, why do I ask if the players are now taking the role of sporting director? Well, due to an exclusive report written by Andy Dillon of The Sun last night.

He claims that Everton striker Richarlison has emerged as a key target for Chelsea this summer to replace Romelu Lukaku, who is off to Inter Milan on loan.

The report claims that Richarlison, Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembele have all been heavily linked with moves to Stamford Bridge and all would be considered great additions by the current squad.

But fiery Brazilian Richarlison’s characteristic aggression and tenacity are seen as decisive factors in the minds of some players.

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Outrageously fast transfer could be announced as soon as today after lightning negotiations

Just a week ago we were saying that the Romelu Lukaku return to Inter looked almost impossible to engineer – now we’re hearing it could be announced as soon as today.

SempreInter report that the Corriere dello Sport print edition in Italy are saying that the loan return to his former club for Lukaku is all agreed, an astonishing turnaround and the result of what must have been an intense weekend of work from all parties.

Of course, unlike most deals, this one had serious time pressure on it to be completed before the end of June, when there is a deadline for the Italian “growth decree” for Serie A teams. That means they are heavily incentivised to complete their expensive moves now, but even given that, this has been a lightning quick transaction considering the size of the sums involved.

We doubt it’s announced today, but it now looks like it could happen this week. Hats off to all involved for making it happen.

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Talks at Final Stages: Chelsea in Discussions Over 30 Goal-per-Season Striker

After a disappointing season following a record-breaking return to Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku is edging closer to a move back to Inter Milan, according to Italian journalist Matteo Barzaghi.

The Belgian, who scored 30 goals in the 2020/21 season, has been pushing for a transfer to the Nerazzurri and Chelsea seem set to cut their losses and agree to a €10 million loan fee. The conclusion of yet another Chelsea transfer saga could come very soon.

Inter Milan and Chelsea Close to Agreeing a Deal for Romelu Lukaku

Inter Milan May Be Ready to Meet Chelsea’s Demands

The two clubs have been negotiating the loan fee for Lukaku’s move because Inter Milan can’t afford to pay for a permanent transfer.

Initial offers from Italy were reportedly at €5 million but Chelsea wanted closer to €10 million plus add-ons to recoup more of the £97.5 million investment they made in the striker last summer.

There are no concerns over the personal terms of the contract as Lukaku is intent on re-joining Inter Milan to rediscover the form that helped bring the club their first Serie A title in 11 years in 2020-21.

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Chelsea set to steal £40m Manchester United target amid Romelu Lukaku transfer ‘discount’

Romelu Lukaku’s time at Chelsea – for next season at least – appears to be coming to an end. There’s no reason to feel disheartened by this, as this is what he wants. The Belgian has been clear about his intentions to return to Inter Milan someday, it’s just happening sooner than expected.

He has been in contact with his former club in hopes of completing a loan move back this summer and now Chelsea look to be on board. Discussions between the Nerazzurri and Chelsea are underway but there’s an interesting twist.

The Blues have made their interest in Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni, Milan Skriniar and Lautaro Martinez clear. They have now added another name to the list which may not directly impact the Lukaku deal but will make Thomas Tuchel’s life easier.

Inter right-wingback Denzel Dumfries has been thrown into the mix, and considering that Reece James is desperately in need of some healthy competition, Lukaku’s deal could have a positive effect on Chelsea’s future.

Initially, Chelsea had placed a £20 million loan fee on Romelu Lukaku. Inter Milan were not so keen on the price tag and according to GOAL, offered an initial £7m. The Blues appear to have settled for £10 million fee but there’s a catch. Surprisingly, the Nerazzurri are willing to sacrifice Dumfries in the process. They are reportedly ready to give Chelsea a discount on the 26-year-old wingback on the £40m that they value him at. The Dutchman had a stellar first season in Italy and after just one year, he could be making a move to England.

Despite taking a potential loss in the Romelu Lukaku deal, Dumfries could help Thomas Tuchel kill two birds with one stone. The Blues are in need of another right wingback. Injuries to Reece James last season were testimony to Chelsea’s lack of options on the right-hand side. Where Cesar Azpilicueta or Reece James was needed in a centre-back position, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson Odoi or Hakim Ziyech would have to adopt the role as right wingback.

A discount on £40 million for a right wingback could be a masterstroke for the Blues. According to Gazzetta della Sport, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has asked the club to sign Dumfries this summer. It would be a nice steal for Chelsea if they manage to pull this off.

There are a lot of positives that could come from Romelu Lukaku’s exit this summer. It’s not the best way for the Belgian to leave, but it could help both parties. Whether Chelsea negotiate a deal to include Bastoni, Skriniar or Dumfries, it doesn’t matter. Any of these option would be a great addition to Tuchel’s very thin backline.

 

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Telegraph: Todd Boehly draws out Four targets Chelsea looking at to replace Romelu Lukaku

It looks like Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku will soon be getting his wish and being allowed to leave the club and rejoin his beloved Inter Milan.

It was only a year ago when he was sorting a move back to Chelsea which he later commented as being his ‘dream’. Now, the tables have turned.

Chelsea want the deal done quick, according to The Telegraph today. This is likely because they will need to work on sourcing a suitable replacement for the Belgian international, and the publication has named four attackers who they are looking at to potentially do just that.

They claim that Raheem Sterling, Ousmane Dembélé and Christopher Nkunku are all among the club’s attacking targets, while Arsenal target Gabriel Jesus has been offered to Chelsea.

You’d suspect that there are other names as well to add to this list who will be considered by Chelsea and Tuchel this summer.