Romelu Lukaku has quashed rumours linking him with a return to Chelsea by committing his future to Inter Milan.
Lukaku has proven himself as one of the best strikers in the world since leaving Manchester United for Inter in 2019. Only Cristiano Ronaldo outscored him in the 2020-21 edition of Serie A as he helped fire Inter to the Scudetto. But their financial situation could break up their title winners.
Head coach Antonio Conte has already left and could make a return to the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur. And there have been rumours that Lukaku could also move to London, with Chelsea keen to re-sign him.
Timo Werner has struggled to justify his price tag in his debut season in a blue shirt following his move from RB Leipzig. Therefore, Chelsea are ready to spend big again on a more reliable centre-forward such as Lukaku.
It emerged earlier this week that owner Roman Abramovich was a driving force behind the links. However, he seems set to be disappointed, as Lukaku has now pledged his future to Inter.
“I am staying at Inter,” Lukaku told VTM (via Football Italia).
“I’ve already spoken to the man who will become our new coach. Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation.”
Inter are expected to unveil former Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi as their successor to Conte imminently. Reports recently claimed Inzaghi had been in contact with Lukaku to convince him to stay, and the striker’s comments appear to confirm this.
Lukaku's agent Pastorello hails him as best in the world
Romelu Lukaku's agent Federico Pastorello believes being at a club where he feels loved has helped the Belgian become the best striker in the world.
Therefore, the Belgian is ready to commit to Inter for the upcoming campaign, in which he hopes to build on their success.
“The challenge is to win again,” he said. “I feel good at Inter, I finally won some silverware.
“I really enjoyed it, but I want to do that again, this time with a packed San Siro.”
Hakimi linked with Chelsea
One player who could be sacrificed by Inter as they scramble to balance the books is Achraf Hakimi – who has also been linked with Chelsea.
At the weekend, Gianluca Di Marzio claimed Chelsea are one of three contenders, alongside Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, for the full-back.
The Blues currently have Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James as their options at right-back. But both are also capable of filling in at centre-back, so Chelsea could sign Hakimi to be a specialist in the wider role.
Despite needing to raise funds, Inter will still hold a tough stance over Hakimi’s future. He is under contract until 2025 and therefore they will not consider offers below €60m.
And in a blow for Chelsea, it seems to be PSG who are closest to a deal.