Chelsea are ready to turn their back on previously agreed plans for Romelu Lukaku, whom they have now made a new decision about, according to a report.
Lukaku is spending the 2022-23 season on loan with Inter Milan after failing to make an impact in his second spell with Chelsea. In contrast, his first stint with Inter was a massive success.
Form has been a bit harder to come by for the Belgian since returning to Italy. Injuries have limited his progress, although Inter still believe they will see the best of Lukaku again.
With that in mind, recent reports claimed Chelsea would be open to allowing Lukaku to stay at Inter beyond this season.
His contract with his parent club is due to run until 2026. Since they are not under immediate pressure to sell, the idea of extending his loan exit has materialised.
In fact, there has supposedly been a verbal agreement between the two clubs for Lukaku to remain where he is beyond the end of the current season.
However, the Evening Standard has now provided an update that the plans could be changing. According to their information, Chelsea would now rather sell Lukaku to the highest bidder in the summer.
They are hoping he will be fit enough to make an impact for Belgium at the World Cup, so that his market value could boost. It has, after all, significantly dropped since they broke their transfer record to bring him back to west London.
It remains to be seen if Inter will stump up a big sum to keep him from Chelsea, or he will set out on another new challenge in 2023. The Blues are already trying to identify alternative potential takers.
But it is clear, according to the Evening Standard, that Lukaku does not want to return to Chelsea. Graham Potter has not yet made up his mind about whether to welcome the striker back. Yet it seems the club are choosing for him.
Lukaku, 29, scored 15 goals in 44 appearances for Chelsea last season. The club have since moved forward by turning to the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Armando Broja up front.
Chelsea under no obligation to gift Lukaku to Inter
Staying at Inter would seem to be the best solution for Lukaku. He has represented some big clubs in his career, but he has seemed to be the happiest there.
Of course, his first spell at San Siro culminated in winning the Serie A title under Antonio Conte.
From his perspective, it makes sense to continue with Inter if possible. But after spending around £100million on him, it is fair enough for Chelsea to explore how to recoup as much of their payment as possible.
It seems clear that they will not be able to get their money back. However, Lukaku can still be a marketable player whom they can squeeze a decent value out of.
The deal with Inter does not contain any obligation for the move there to become permanent. Hence, Chelsea will be on the lookout for a solution so they can solve the Lukaku issue once and for all at the earliest opportunity.
Who knows why it didn’t work out for him back at Stamford Bridge after consecutive seasons with 30 goals or more for Inter, but it will soon be time for all parties to look forward.