Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a sensational return to Chelsea ahead of the new campaign. The 28-year-old has emerged as one of the finest marksmen on the planet since joining the Italian giants in the summer of 2019 and fired the club to Serie A glory last season with 24 goals in league action.
Lukaku’s stunning form, along with Inter’s precarious financial position, has conjured up speculation that he could rejoin Chelsea over the coming weeks as the Blues hunt a top-class operator to lead the line in advance of a renewed Premier League title challenge.
Recent reports have suggested that the Belgian has already received a lucrative offer from the newly-crowned European champions, who are believed to be keen on bringing him back to Stamford Bridge.
However, Express Sport understands that Lukaku is looking to stay at the San Siro in order to achieve continued success with Inter.
Although he was upset by the surprise departure of former boss Antonio Conte back in May, the former Manchester United and Everton man feels appreciated by the club and is determined to repay their faith by rejecting the idea of a move away this summer.
His decision is likely to deliver a significant blow to the hopes of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is understood to be a huge admirer of the forward.
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The Russian billionaire would love for the Blues to sign Lukaku, who is one of his favourite players, according to 90min.
It remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea will continue their reported pursuit of the Inter talisman in spite of his desire to continue with Simone Inzaghi’s side.
If a move for Lukaku fails to come to fruition, the Premier League heavyweights will be forced to revisit their transfer strategy.
Thomas Tuchel would be set to reap the rewards of having a world-class No 9 at his disposal, with Chelsea’s current options at the top of the pitch somewhat limited for a side with high hopes of sealing their first domestic triumph since 2017 next season.
Kai Havertz, who is primarily an attacking midfielder, has been forced to adapt to a striking role as of late amid the ongoing struggles of Timo Werner.
The former RB Leipzig hero has failed to hit the ground running since his big-money move to Stamford Bridge a year ago, while Tammy Abraham has been left out in the cold despite finishing the campaign as Chelsea’s joint-top scorer in all competitions.
A number of potential targets have been linked with the Blues alongside Lukaku in recent months, with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland understood to be near the top of the list.
However, the German heavyweights are reportedly not yet prepared to sell their prized asset, who is valued at around £150million.
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Despite the slim likelihood of a successful move for Haaland this summer, former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has urged his old club to shift a number of their existing stars in order to fund a club-record approach for the Dortmund man.
“Some people will say that doesn’t work, but clubs are trying to abide by the rules and they have to move people out,” Cascarino told talkSPORT.
“For them to do that, they are going to do a mind-boggling transfer and I think it will be Haaland, [regardless of] whether everyone says: ‘No, it’s next year and that’s in his contract’.
“Chelsea are going to offer big money for somebody, and I suspect it will be him.”