- 20 hours ago
Lukaku 'only wants Inter Milan', and another Chelsea star could follow
Romelu Lukaku has been offered to Saudi Arabia but Chelsea's best hope of offloading the striker is to sell him to Inter Milan, according to reports in Italy. Cesar Azpilicueta could join him at the San Siro.
Lukaku re-joined Chelsea from Inter in the summer of 2021, with the Blues paying €115 million for his services, but only eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances later and he was shipped back to the Nerazzurri on loan.
He struggled with form and fitness in his second Inter spell, but came good towards the end of last season and hit three goals on their run to the Champions League final, in which they were edged 1-0 by Manchester City.
Chelsea have been busy balancing their books in the meantime, and the Al-Ittihad-bound N'golo Kante is set to be joined by Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech in Saudi Arabia. The Blues tried to send Lukaku the same way, but he only has eyes for Inter.
The Lukaku x Lautaro connection is back, baby! 🔥pic.twitter.com/yTeWZ44pcQ
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A 'key moment' for Lukaku
"[Lukaku] knows that this a key moment in deciding his professional future," report Gazzetta dello Sport. "His desire to stay at Inter hasn't changed and he has already told senior figures at Chelsea of his wish, despite being given the prospect of leaving for Saudi Arabia.
"The Nerazzurri No.90 believes that at his age (30) it is too soon to move to the Middle East and he still wants to win things and be an important player in European football."
Lukaku is still valued at €44.4m by FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm but Inter could drive down his price by including one of their in-demand players, like Nicolo Barella, as a makeweight.
While Inter are stretched to afford Lukaku, they should have no such problems in bringing Azpilicueta to the club. The long-time Chelsea right-back is a "concrete option" for Inter according to Sky Italia, and the Blues won't demand an inordinate amount for a 33-year-old out of contract next summer.