Football News

Romelu Lukaku wants Inter return with CEO hopeful over move for Chelsea striker

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:19, 17 June 2022

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has a “great desire” to return to Inter Milan according to the Italian club’s CEO Alessandro Antonello.

Lukaku only re-joined Chelsea from Inter last season in a £97.5m move as the Blues looked to solve their goalscoring problem, but Thomas Tuchel has so far struggled to get the best out of the Belgian.

After scoring 30 goals in 44 games for Inter across all competitions in 2020/21, including 24 in Serie A to help the Nerazzurri scoop the Scudetto, Lukaku managed just 15 in 44 in his first season back at Chelsea.

Although Lukaku finished the campaign as Chelsea’s top goalscorer, the season was deemed a disappointment which wasn’t helped by off-field issues that sprung from an interview the Belgian gave in late 2021 expressing his desire to one day return to Inter.

Lukaku was dropped by Tuchel shortly after the interview, in which he also spoke of his discontent in the early months at Chelsea, but was eventually restored to the team as both parties looked to move past the incident. However, it did not guarantee his future at Stamford Bridge and Lukaku could reportedly be on his way back to Inter this summer.

According to reports, Inter are in negotiations with Chelsea over a loan move for Lukaku and the Belgian has offered to take a wage cut in order to push the deal through. And Inter’s CEO Antonello has repeated Lukaku’s desire, but admits there are things that still need to be sorted.

“Certainly there is the great desire of the player to return, the economic-financial feasibility must be verified and some technical problems must be solved,” he said.

“By June 30? We’ll try to do it in the correct timeframe.”

Inter are also in the market to sign Paulo Dybala, who leaves Juventus as a free agent this summer but would still command a big part of the Italian side’s wage bill amid reports they need to generate €60m before making these moves.

However, Antonello is optimistic about Inter being able to pull off deals for both Lukaku and Dybala.

He added: “It is fundamental to combine competitiveness on the pitch and economic-financial sustainability. This is the work we are doing, all the choices the club will make on the market will always be inspired by these words.

“We want to be competitive on the pitch, but on the other hand we must also respect the stakes that UEFA is drawing on Financial Fair Play in this transitional period towards the new rules. Everything can be done, but with great consideration for economic and financial sustainability.”