Chelsea have agreed on a deal worth a club-record €115 million to re-sign striker Romelu Lukaku. The 28-year-old left Chelsea in 2014 after only 15 appearances following his arrival from Anderlecht in 2011. He has since established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in the game. Lukaku signed for Everton in 2014 and scored 87 goals in 166 games. He then moved to Manchester United in 2017. Big Rom found the net 42 times in 96 appearances during his two-year stay before signing for Inter Milan in 2019. He has proven himself a prolific goal scorer wherever he went. Lukaku would go on to score 24 goals in the Serie A last season, helping Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years. He was instrumental as Inter put an end to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian top-flight champions.
But all good things must come to an end. The Italian club is in a precarious financial crisis. They were always likely to let some of their title-winning superstars leave. Even their title-winning manager Antonio Conte left the club in May amid concerns about plans to reduce his budget. He was replaced by Lazio’s Simeone Inzaghi.
After Achraf Hakimi’s move to PSG for a reported €71M, Inter were reluctant to release any more players. Lukaku enjoyed his stay in Italy. He didn’t want to move and reiterated his desire to stay at San Siro this season. But with Chelsea in desperate need of a world-class finisher, many including Lukaku himself would feel he has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge. Lukaku instructed Inter Milan to allow him to leave if a suitable offer came in. Inter made it clear they were unwilling to part with their highest goal scorer.
They initially rejected two offers from Chelsea for the Belgium international. The second of which was worth £85m (€100m) plus left-back Marcos Alonso. Inter insisted if they were to sell, it would be a straight cash offer. Inter wanted a fee above £100M. However, after negotiations gathered pace on Friday, Inter relented. They couldn’t say no to a £98M offer for the current Serie A MVP.
Julio Cesar said: “This situation of Inter is dictated by a financial problem. Inter must respect financial fair play. Conte is a coach I liked a lot, with the right mentality and he won the Scudetto. Lukaku had a wonderful season but when a club in the situation of Inter gets an offer like this it is difficult to refuse it. And the same goes for (Achraf) Hakimi. it will be very difficult.”
The Belgium international will complete his move from Inter Milan once he undergoes his medical examination and signs personal terms. That is expected to be a formality. The Chelsea fan has his heart set on a move back to Stamford Bridge. Romelu Lukaku is expected to sign a five-year contract worth around €12-13 million a year. It will make him one of the highest earners at the London club.