Romelu Lukaku looks set to break a longstanding promise to Inter this summer after ‘secret talks’ were apparently held with rivals Juventus.
The Belgian striker was thought to be a target for a permanent transfer for Inter this summer after spending last season on loan there, reaching the Champions League final and winning the Coppa Italia. Lukaku was already a popular figure at the club having scored 64 goals and won a Serie A title in a previous two-year permanent spell between 2019 and 2021.
Back then, Lukaku effectively promised Inter supporters he’d ‘never’ sign for their two major domestic rivals, AC Milan and Juventus.
“If Juventus or AC Milan will call me in the future? Never, never,” Lukaku told Sky Italia in an unsanctioned interview shortly after leaving Inter to return to Chelsea.
He added: “Again, never. It’s never gonna happen. Juventus wanted me before Inter, but when Conte joined Inter, it was my priority to join them. In Italy, there’s only Inter for me.”
According to reports, those may now be hollow words.
Despite signing Lukaku for £97m just two years ago, Chelsea were understood to be willing to let him leave for just over £34m this summer. Naturally given his history there, Inter were thought to be in the driving seat and apparently came in with a £26m opening bid.
However, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus then entered the race, expressing that they were willing to pay the full asking price and offer more wages for Lukaku than Inter. Last season’s Champions League runners-up are thought to be angry after discovering Lukaku has held secret talks with Juventus, while they’ve subsequently been unable to muster a response from the player or his representatives.
Romelu Lukaku next club odds with Sky Bet
- Juventus: 1/2
- Any Saudi Pro League club: 5/1
- Inter: 6/1
- Aston Villa: 8/1
- Stay at Chelsea: 8/1
- AC Milan: 33/1
*Odds correct at the time of writing. 18+ Only. Terms and Conditions Apply. BeGambleAware.
Should he indeed join The Old Lady, Lukaku would effectively replace Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic, who is heavily linked with PSG and Chelsea — the latter will undoubtedly use Juventus’ interest in Lukaku as leverage.
One can only imagine the reception Lukaku would get at the San Siro when Juventus face Inter…
Who will Inter sign instead of Romelu Lukaku?
This all begs the question of if not Lukaku for Inter, then who? From Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun to free agent Moussa Dembele, there are plenty of names in the hat. Take a look at the video below as Squawka walks you through the possible options: