Romelu Lukaku clause in impending loan deal speaks volumes about Chelsea feelings
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is set to join Inter Milan this summer and the two clubs are believed to have agreed a loan deal for the Belgium international.
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Inter Milan have reached an agreement with Chelsea to re-sign Romelu Lukaku on loan… but there is no obligation for the Italian team to sign him permanently.
The Belgium international, 29, has struggled for form since joining the Blues from Inter for £97.5m last August. He scored just eight Premier League goals and often struggled to edge out Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in the pecking order.
Lukaku’s future at Chelsea has looked uncertain since claiming he was “not happy” with manager Thomas Tuchel’s tactics in a surprising interview with the Italian press in December. He also proclaimed his love for Inter during the contentious chat.
Reports earlier this week suggested the Premier League outfit were open to letting Lukaku join Inter on a season-long loan this summer. The two clubs have since discussed the loan fee and they have settled on just £7million.
Perhaps most telling is that the proposed deal does not contain a clause allowing Inter to sign Lukaku permanently when the loan expires in June 2023 – such is Chelsea’s desire to remove him from their wage bill. He would earn £325,000 a week at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku’s value could drop significantly if the temporary gig doesn’t go as planned. By next summer, he will be 30 and has three years left on his current contract. The proposed move is subject to medical review and is not expected to be announced imminently.
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New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly would be happy to let Lukaku join Inter on loan. It is claimed he believes the deal is the best course of action and will use the generated budget to improve Tuchel’s squad ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Tuchel is after at least one new centre-back after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen joined Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. The Blues finished third in the Premier League last season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City.
Lukaku enjoyed two prolific seasons at Inter under former manager Antonio Conte. He scored 64 goals in 95 appearances, helping them win Serie A in 2020-21. They also reached the Europa League final in 2019-20, losing 3-2 to Spanish side Sevilla.
Speaking in December, Lukaku said: “I’m not happy with the situation, it’s normal. I think the coach chose to play with another system, I just have to not give up and keep working. and to be professional.. I am a hard worker and I must not give up.
On Inter, Lukaku added: “How I left Inter, how I communicated with the fans, it bothers me because it’s not the right time now, but even when I left, it was not the right time.
“Now I think it’s fair to say because I’ve always said I have Inter in my heart, I’ll come back to play there, I really hope so. I’m in love with Italy, it’s Now is the time to speak up and let people know what really happened without saying bad things about people because I’m not like that.”
Lukaku will not be remembered by Chelsea fans if he leaves the club again. He failed to score in his first spell at the club between 2011 and 2014, playing just 15 games and spending time on loan at Premier League rivals West Brom and Everton.