Chelsea have informed Romelu Lukaku that they will allow him to join Inter Milan on loan if the deal makes financial sense.
Lukaku is desperate to return to Inter after losing his fortunes at Chelsea, who broke the transfer record when he bought the striker for £97.5m last summer, and there is a desire on all sides to move forward.
Thomas Tuchel has no intention of standing in the way of the Belgian and talks are ongoing between the two clubs.
Chelsea’s new owners, Todd Boehle and Clearlake Capital, have made clear to Lukaku that they are ready to find a solution with Inter.
Lukaku was a disappointment last season and doesn’t look like the Tuchel system. Tuchel Buhli and Clearlake co-founder Bagdad Eghbali will be guided on matters of football and take into account their manager’s views on the 29-year-old striker.
However, a significant amount of work will have to be done if Lukaku, whose lawyer has been in contact with Inter, is to leave. Inter cannot afford to sign him on a permanent basis and Chelsea, who could join the race to sign Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, could demand up to £25m in loan fees. They will also want the Italian club to cover a large portion of the former Manchester United player’s £325,000-a-week wages.
It may be difficult for Inter to meet these demands given that financial problems forced them to sell Lukaku last year. They are trying to sign Paulo Dybala, as the Argentine striker is set to leave Juventus on a free transfer, but could lose more key players. Tottenham want to strengthen their defense by signing Alessandro Bastoni and have targeted fellow Inter heartland Milan Skriniar, who has been linked with Chelsea. Inter could also receive bids for their striker Lautaro Martinez.
Lukaku enjoyed a very fruitful relationship with Martinez when Inter won the Serie A two seasons ago. That convinced Chelsea to bring him back last year, but the move quickly worsened. Lukaku has scored just 15 goals in all competitions and sparked needless controversy after questioning Tuchel’s tactics and speaking of his desire to return to Inter during an unauthorized interview with Sky Italia last winter.
Chelsea will save big money for Tuchel to strengthen his attack. Jesus, who wants to leave Manchester City following the inclusion of Erling Haaland, is on Chelsea’s shortlist. The Brazilian striker’s contract expires next year and City want £45m to £50m for the 25-year-old. Arsenal and Tottenham are also trying to sign him.
Chelsea’s Bayern Munich player Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich’s Christopher Nkunku, City’s Raheem Sterling and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, are also available for free. They will listen to performances by Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.
Buhle is in London this week and has held talks with Tuchel about transfer plans. Chelsea need reinforcements in defense after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Cesar Azpilicueta may join Barcelona, and Marcos Alonso has said he wants to leave Chelsea, who are pressing for Sevilla’s Jules Conde. They are also targeting Juventus’ Jusco Gvardiol, Matisse de Ligt, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.
Buhli and Al-Egbadi will represent Chelsea at the Premier League’s annual meeting on Thursday. It has not been confirmed whether Bruce Buck, president of Chelsea under Abramovich, and manager Marina Granovskaya have long-term future contracts at the club.