Lukaku is Set to Return to Chelsea

According to Daily Star UK, The Belgian striker, 29, has struggled to rediscover the form which made him a hero at San Siro prior to his £97.5million switch back to Stamford Bridge two summers ago. It was hoped Lukaku would pick up where he left off after his nightmare return to Chelsea, having guided Inter to the title in the 2020/21 season with an impressive 24 goals in Serie A.

 

But Lukaku has managed to deliver just a fraction of that figure this term, netting just five times in 17 appearances in all competitions during a season beset by injury problems, with Inter now ready to cut their ties with him. Inter CEO Beppe Marotta told Sky Italia: “The loan was for one season so on June 30 regardless of how well he plays, he’ll go back to Chelsea.”

 

Inter had agreed to loan Lukaku back from Chelsea last summer for a cut-price fee of just £6.9m for the season, plus further bonuses due if he helped them win the league title (they’re currently 18 points behind leaders Napoli). He even took a 30 per cent pay cut to return as Inter covered the rest of his wages in full, with both camps believed to be keen to eventually make the deal permanent, despite there not being an option to buy clause inserted in the transfer agreement.

 

However, things haven’t worked out as hoped. As Marotta explained: “This has been an unprecedented season. I’m referring of course to the (winter) World Cup. The problems we’ve experienced have been experienced by other clubs too and the players who played at the World Cup.

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“Lukaku is a case in point. (Marcelo) Brozovic isn’t the Brozovic we know. Lukaku hasn’t found the fitness he needs to play his best football. He’s still not at his best or the player we got to see in years gone by.”

 

The situation leaves Lukaku in an awkward position, having seemingly burnt his bridges at Chelsea following his explosive interview in December 2021, where he admitted he was “not happy” with how his return to the Blues was going and that he longed to play for Inter again.

 

After failing to cement his place as Chelsea’s lead No.9, he got his wish, but his parent club have since switched manager and moved on. Graham Potter is on the hunt for a new front man though, potentially handing Lukaku a lifeline to revive his career.

 

Chelsea have struggled for goals during Potter’s so-far troublesome reign, though with new owners at the helm, it is expected they will invest in a new striker in the summer transfer window. A recent report from the Daily Mail claims Lukaku is not part of Potter’s plans for the club moving forward, with the Chelsea boss said to be ‘not enthusiastic’ about him returning.