Inter CEO Beppe Marotta has admitted there is a desire to bring Romelu Lukaku back to San Siro this summer, and 90min understands Chelsea would not stand in the striker’s way.
Although he ended the season as the Blues’ top scorer, the Belgian endured an underwhelming comeback campaign at Chelsea following his blockbuster £97.5m move from Inter in 2021.
Having hit the ground running back in England, a controversial interview with Italian media – where he admitted he wanted to play for Inter again – was preceded by a barren spell, an injury and a bout of Covid-19, all of which ultimately derailed his season.
Lukaku’s form was in stark contrast to his time in Serie A, where he helped to fire the club to a first Scudetto in a decade with 64 goals in 95 appearances.
90min reported in April that Chelsea were prepared to cut their losses on the 28-year-old amid interest from his former club, and it was revealed earlier this month that there could be movement once Todd Boehly’s Stamford Bridge takeover was complete.
While the west London club’s stance hasn’t changed, the Nerazzurri’s eagerness has only grown – and Lukaku is open to the idea of returning to San Siro.
The deposed Serie A champions want to partner Lukaku with Paulo Dybala, who will leave Juventus upon the expiry of his contract. However, much will depend on Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez, who will need to be sold to facilitate the double move.
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Speaking on Inter’s interest in both players on Monday, club CEO Marotta admitted that plans were in the pipeline.
“There’s no hurry on our part, we can’t rush,” he said. “Certainly we’ve already started laying the groundwork, trying to get the jump on things.
“It takes creativity and courage to make certain moves. It’s clear that the core of the team will remain. We’re Inter and as such we always want to reach ambitious goals, while also remaining sustainable.”
90min understands there have been initial talks between intermediaries regarding Lukaku’s return to Inter. Italian tax legislation could provide a stumbling block, although that shouldn’t stop any deal eventually going through.
Sources have told 90min that Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is open to Lukaku staying but will not stand in his way if he wants to leave and an appropriate offer arrives.
Tuchel has been handed a significant transfer war chest by the Blues’ new owners, and he plans to oversee something of an overhaul of the attacking department.
Underperforming forwards Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi could all be made available.