Romelu Lukaku’s future at Chelsea is in his hands at this point

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images) /

When Chelsea forked over £97.5 million to reunite with Romelu Lukaku last summer, it felt like destiny. The striker scored less than 15 minutes into his second debut with the club, marking the beginning of a dream turned reality. However, it didn’t take very long for that pleasant plot to turn into a nightmare for everyone involved. Lukaku would go on to struggle with COVID-19, injuries, inconsistent minutes and the fans turning against him. While the former two aren’t his fault, Lukaku definitely did not help himself by giving that ill-advised interview halfway through the campaign. It represented a turning point in the season for both the player and the team.

A reunion that once seemed like a match made in heaven quickly descended into a divorce headed for hell. Lukaku found himself out of the starting XI for large parts of the season as Kai Havertz stepped up into the No. 9 role while the Belgian was struggling. This led the Blues to believe they could operate without their club record signing after all, which they largely went on to do. The issue of Chelsea’s sale has been resolved, so all of the club’s attention now turns to personnel decisions. Now, the summer transfer window is creeping up on teams once again (opens July 1) and Lukaku’s future is in his hands for a second consecutive season.

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Romelu Lukaku holds the keys to his Chelsea future ahead of summer window

It is now being reported that the Belgian is dreaming of a return to Inter Milan this summer. This means that, while Lukaku may not be pushing for a move back to Serie A, he isn’t hiding his feelings either. Many supporters—and likely the club’s hierarchy, as well—believe that if a player does not want to be at Chelsea then they should promptly be shown the door. This is no different for Lukaku, who looked relatively out of place throughout most of the season in Tuchel’s system. Even though there were reports earlier in the year that he wanted to stay at Stamford Bridge, determined to fight for his place and not flop a second time, it’s become clear that the striker wants to be the star man in an attacking system. This just doesn’t seem like something he can do with the Blues, especially with Tuchel’s physically demanding tactics.

Lukaku recently fired his second agent in a matter of years. It seems he was unsatisfied with the way that P&P—the agency that helped orchestrate his record transfer to Chelsea—was looking out for his future amidst all of the recent rumors. Now, the 29-year-old is being represented by a lawyer of his choosing. This attorney is set to meet with Inter Milan in the coming days on Lukaku’s behalf to discuss a potential return to I Nerazzurri in the coming months.

While any move would be incredibly difficult for the Italian club, it’s not impossible. In the end, there are three factors to consider here: Inter’s financial might, the Blues’ willingness to take a loss and Lukaku’s desire to depart Chelsea. If the two sides can agree to suitable terms, there is little doubt that Lukaku will be back in a different shade of blue again next season, returning to the club that he confessed his unwavering love for earlier this season.

A long-term loan move with the option to buy has been kicked around as a potential idea, but one would imagine any agreement would include an obligation to buy instead. If there is anyone that can outline a favorable deal for both clubs in world football, it’s Marina Granovskaia. The Blues’ transfer negotiation guru has been the mastermind behind some of the most unique transfer deals in recent memory. Her knowledge and creativity saw Chelsea turn a profit on the Alvaro Morata sale, as well as make £15 million from Saturday’s Champions League final . . . that the Blues didn’t even play in. Granovskaia will have to answer to some new owners, but if Tuchel has a desire to kick Lukaku to the curb after a disastrous first season, it will likely happen.

In the end, it could all come down to whether or not Lukaku is willing to fight for his place at Chelsea. All signs up to now point toward the No. 9 preferring to take the easy way out, but you never truly know what’s going on in the mind of a professional footballer—especially Lukaku.

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What do you think the future holds for Lukaku? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!