Chelsea have made Alessandro Bastoni a transfer target and could ask for the Inter defender as part of a deal for Romelu Lukaku, a report has claimed.
The Blues will reportedly have £200million to spend this summer thanks to new investment from the Todd Boehly-led consortium. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel wants new defenders, but he also has problems within his current ranks.
Striker Romelu Lukaku, signed for a club-record £97.5million from Inter last summer, wants out.
He has struggled for minutes and form since returning to the Premier League and even blamed Tuchel’s tactics in December.
Lukaku is striving for a return to Inter, but the finances of a deal are currently a squeeze for the Serie A side. They can certainly not afford to pay anywhere near the fee Chelsea paid last summer.
Reports claim that the Blues will therefore ask for a £21million loan fee from Inter.
The Evening Standard now adds that Chelsea could also look to land a big-name Inter star as part of the deal.
Slovakian centre-back Milan Skriniar is one option, with Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez another.
But a third player swap route which would have implications elsewhere in the Premier League is Bastoni. Tottenham are chasing the 23-year-old defender, who Inter value at between £51million and £60million.
Manchester United have also registered interest in him as Erik ten Hag looks to add to his new squad.
But it could yet be Chelsea who could sign Bastoni as part of a deal with Lukaku and Inter.
Boehly is handing full transfer power over Tuchel this summer. That means the German’s wishes are the new owner’s command.
If he wants Tuchel out and Bastoni in, Chelsea’s new consortium will try and get both moves done.
Chelsea may win Bastoni race
Inter may well feel a deal which secures them something in return for Bastoni could be more beneficial than simply losing the defender.
And given it is Lukaku on the table, recent history suggests there is no better alternative for the Serie A side.
The Belgium international fired Inter to the Serie A title with 24 goals in the 2020/21 season, while also supplying 10 assists.
Chelsea want £20m to loan Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan
Chelsea want Romelu Lukaku gone but they will struggle to sell the striker and now want to loan him back to Inter Milan for £20m per loan
He made his mark in Italy after playing for Manchester United. While he enjoyed some decent spells, he struggled amid a poor run for the Red Devils.
Before then, he played at Everton and West Brom after failing to get a look in as a Chelsea youngster.
While Lukaku’s second spell with Chelsea has so far not worked out as hoped, a move for Bastoni and Lukaku could work well for all involved.