Romelu Lukaku set to leave Chelsea and rejoin Inter after loan fee agreed


Internazionale have reached an agreement in principle for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku to rejoin them on loan. The £97.5m striker has been desperate to return to Italy after a turbulent year at Stamford Bridge and the move is on the verge of being completed.

Inter have been in talks with Chelsea over the arrangement of the loan since last week. Chelsea had been pushing for €10m plus add-ons to be paid as a loan fee, but they have accepted an offer of €8m plus add-ons from their Italian counterparts. The one-year deal does not include an obligation or option to make the loan permanent and Lukaku has agreed a pay cut to make the move happen.

Chelsea have decided to move their record signing out following his failure to adapt to Thomas Tuchel’s system. Lukaku had an uneasy relationship with Tuchel, who wants to rebuild his attack, and has pushed for a move back to Inter since the end of the season.

Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s new co-owner, decided to give the move the green light following talks with both Tuchel and Lukaku. Boehly wants to back Tuchel on football matters and does not see any point of keeping an unhappy player at the club.

It is hoped that the deal could be finalised today, pending a medical for the Belgium international. Lukaku’s goals helped Inter win the Serie A title in 2021. However Inter’s financial problems forced them into a sale last summer. They cannot afford to buy the 29-year-old, who earns £325,000 a week at Chelsea.

Chelsea will step up their transfer plans once Lukaku has gone. They are interested in Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé and RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku, while Everton’s Richarlison has emerged as a target. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski wants to join Barça.

This is a summer of change for Chelsea after their takeover by Boehly and Clearlake Capital. Bruce Buck has agreed to step down as chairman and Marina Granovskaia is set to become the next big exit.

Chelsea are monitoring developments around Jonathan Clauss, with the Lens defender potentially offering them cover for Reece James at right wing-back. The France international, 29, is out of contract next year and has been linked with Atletico Madrid.