Chelsea pay off Lukaku with over €100m of sales
Chelsea have made arguably the statement signing of the summer by bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.
As communicated on their official social media channels in his welcome video, Lukaku arrived a boy, but has returned a man and is ready to take the club to the next level.
Good friends with Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, as well as other members of the squad, both past and present, Lukaku feels at home at the club, and is exactly the profile of player that Thomas Tuchel wanted.
Last season, the Blues were often wasteful in front of goal, and were unable to finish off opponents by scoring the amount their dominance deserved. However, with Lukaku now amongst their ranks, that problem goes away as they have signed one of the best strikers in the world.
Belgium's all-time record goal-scorer hit 30 goals or more in both of his seasons for Inter, and is easily Chelsea's best option through the middle now. A true No.9 was top of the shopping list for Tuchel, and transfer chief Marina Granovskaia delivered Lukaku.
Finances aren't exactly tight at Stamford Bridge, with Roman Abramovich as owner, but thanks to the business conducted by Granovskaia, Chelsea have virtually managed to pay off Lukaku's huge transfer fee already.
How have Chelsea paid off Lukaku's fee?
Lukaku cost the club a reported €115 million (£97.5m), and sales this summer have meant this move has been almost completed for free, excluding wages.
Chelsea fans have been frustrated by the sales of talented youngsters, but with buy-back clauses included in many deals, plus the addition of Lukaku, complaints are minimal.
Lewis Bate has joined Leeds for €1.8m (£1.5m), Valentino Livramento has linked up with Southampton for €6.2m (£5.3m), while Myles Peart-Harris left for Brentford for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around €1.5m (£1.3m).
Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori are slightly more experienced academy graduates, and the centre-back pair also left this summer; Guehi to Crystal Palace for €21m (£18m), and Tomori to Milan for €28m (£24m).
Add to that the exits of Olivier Giroud to Milan (€1.8m/£1.5m) and Victor Moses to Spartak Moscow (€5.3m/£4.5m), and Chelsea have racked up around €65m.
Then, Tammy Abraham's departure comes into the equation. The striker has moved to Roma. The deal will see Chelsea earn €40m (£34m) plus a potential €5m in add-ons, with a buy-back clause also inserted.
Hence, with all their sales, Chelsea have earned around €105m (£90m) this summer, with a few more potentially expected before the end of the window. Ike Ugbo will be sold if a €5.9m (£5m) bid comes in for him, while Ross Barkley, Davide Zappacosta, Kurt Zouma and Emerson, among others, could all leave.
All in all, that means that the addition of Lukaku has almost been for free. Obviously Chelsea have lost players, but realistically, only Abraham would've played a role this season, and the English striker isn't at all in favour under Tuchel, meaning even that was unlikely.
Kings of business, Chelsea have played another masterstroke, and it's one that could deliver the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge.