Premier League • England

Romelu Lukaku transfer latest: Chelsea accept Inter Milan proposal with two key clauses missing

Romelu Lukaku representing Chelsea

Inter Milan have reached an agreement with Chelsea for Romelu Lukaku to return to the San Siro on loan, bringing an end to the striker’s miserable year at Stamford Bridge.

Belgian star Lukaku moved back to Chelsea – his second professional club – last summer in £97.5m deal. Not only was that a transfer record for Chelsea, it was also, at the time, a British record fee too. But the return to west London has not paid dividends and Lukaku has cut an unhappy figure.

Indeed, he has criticised the team as well as coach Thomas Tuchel, making clear his regret at leaving Inter in the first place. And while publicly Tuchel forgave the striker – despite a hefty club fine – it was clear all was not well between player and club.

Lukaku finished the season with a respectable 15 goals in 44 appearances. But those numbers were significantly down on his previous seasons, with Chelsea’s tactics clearly unsuited to the 29-year-old.

Indeed, he quickly made clear his wish to return to the Nerazzurri this summer if the opportunity presented itself. Now the player has seemingly got his wish after days of talks between the clubs.

The deal had looked in doubt as recently as Monday when Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta insisted his side would not pay over the odds.

No option to buy

However, as per a variety of sources, Inter have now reached an agreement to bring Lukaku back. Indeed, both Sky Sports Italia and Fabrizio Romano state the Serie A side are paying Chelsea a £6.87m (€8m) loan fee to bring Lukaku back.

Chelsea had been seeking nearer the £10m mark, but now it seems a compromise has been reached. Indeed, Lukaku’s move will contain within it a number of performance-related clauses. However, rather than these be attached to the efforts of Lukaku, they will be measured against by Inter’s results.

As such, a bonuus of £3.8m (€4.5m) will be paid to Chelsea should Inter win either Serie A, the Champions League or the Europa League.

Furthermore, it’s also confirmed that the deal contains no option, at this stage, to make the move permanent. As such, the move to take Lukaku back to the San Siro is a ‘dry-loan’ only.

As a result, Lukaku will return to Chelsea once the 2022/23 season is concluded. That is, of course, unless another agreement is reached.

Lukaku is also taking a signficant pay cut to make the move happen.

Furthermore, FCInterNews claims Lukaku will travel to Italy later this week. He will then undergo a medical with Inter on Friday. If all goes well, he is likely to be presented as an Inter player once more later that day.

Romelu Lukaku done in a Chelsea shirt

The announcement of an agreement with Inter brings to a close one of the most ill-fated transfers in recent history.

While Chelsea paid what many felt was over the odds for Lukaku, many felt the striker would prove the missing link to their side. With Timo Werner struggling up front the season prior, the capture of Lukaku was expected to end Chelsea’s profligacy in front of goal.

However, after starting brightly, it was clear all was not well. Fractions began to appear in his relationship with Tuchel and he became a frequent bench dweller.

And when he spoke out against the club and Tuchel, there did not look any way back for the player.

To Tuchel’s credit, he did allow Lukaku a way back in to the side. But their relationship was never the same again. And, amid his ongoing reduced role, it was very apparent his words were not forgotten.

Romelu Lukaku loan HERE WE GO

Romelu Lukaku will leave Chelsea this summer on loan to Inter Milan who have agreed to pay his reduced wages in full

However, it was clear that Lukaku’s heart was never in it. As soon as the chance to return to Inter presented itself, the striker was quick to push for it. So much so, that he was more than willing to take a huge salary cut in the process.

And while his loan only keeps him there for another season, it appears highly unlikely Romelu Lukaku will ever be seen in a Chelsea shirt again.

Meanwhile, another unhappy Blues star, Christian Pulisic, has been told he must fight for his place amid talk of a swoop for Raheem Sterling.