A dramatic twist in Romelu Lukaku’s Chelsea transfer saga

Chelsea (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Chelsea (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /

The pursuit of Chelsea No.9 Romelu Lukaku by Inter Milan has come to an end as the Italian club has decided to withdraw from the race. This decision stems from Lukaku engaging in negotiations with Juventus. While Inter prepared for the Champions League Final, Romelu Lukaku began negotiations with Juventus. Shockingly, an Inter director informed Lukaku during a brief 30-second phone call that he was no longer included in the club’s future plans.

Inter expressed their dissatisfaction and frustration as they struggled to establish communication with Romelu Lukaku, despite reaching a fee agreement with Chelsea. As reported by Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Inter has expressed their frustration with Lukaku’s behavior, as he has been unresponsive to both the management and his former teammates. This attitude has left the club feeling annoyed and disappointed.

Despite the mutual desire to reach an agreement, a deadlock had arisen due to differing valuations of Lukaku. Chelsea, who acquired him for a club-record fee of €120 million in August 2021, reportedly placed a value of €45 million on the player. However, Inter’s initial offers fell significantly short of that figure, reaching only around €35 million.

Lukaku, along with his representatives, has been actively working towards securing a permanent move back to Inter following his loan spell at San Siro during the 2022/23 season. This decision was motivated by the Belgian’s unsatisfactory experience during his previous campaign at the West Londoners. As Chelsea commenced their pre-season preparations this week, Romelu Lukaku did not join the team to fulfill his obligations with his current club. Instead, efforts are underway to address and resolve his future situation.

Having completed a loan spell at Inter, where he recorded 14 goals and seven assists, the Belgian footballer now finds himself at the center of intense negotiations between Inter and Chelsea. Throughout the past month, the clubs have engaged in continuous discussions as it became evident that the 30-year-old player’s desire was to make a comeback to San Siro.

Inter’s pursuit of securing Romelu Lukaku’s signature for approximately €35 million has hit a roadblock, as his lawyer, Sebastien Ledure, has not been in contact with either Inter or the Blues. Adding to the frustration, Lukaku himself has not responded to messages from Inter directors and teammates, leaving the club disappointed. Inter had hoped to finalize the deal promptly, especially after the sale of André Onana to Manchester United for €50 million, along with potential add-ons.

According to reports from Italian broadcasters, Romelu Lukaku is enticed by an offer from Juventus, as they have matched Inter’s bid for the 30-year-old player. The report states that Inter has proposed a deal of €35 million plus €5 million in add-ons.

It is indeed unexpected that Lukaku is displaying a stronger inclination towards Juventus’ offer, despite them being direct rivals to Inter. In a late 2021 interview, shortly after rejoining Chelsea, the former Manchester United striker had expressed his longing to return to the blue side of Milan. Lukaku had always professed his affection for the city, the fans, and the values associated with Internazionale. However, the current situation portrays a different picture, as he appears to be disregarding the club he once claimed to love, in pursuit of a move to one of their bitter rivals.

Juventus has offered €37.5m plus €2.5m add-ons to Chelsea for the Belgian’s services. It is reported that Juventus has informed Chelsea about their requirement for time until August 4 to offload the Serbian player. However, CFC is eager to sell Lukaku sooner rather than later, resulting in a discrepancy between the two clubs’ desired timelines. Chelsea is aiming to swiftly offload the forward to facilitate Pochettino’s ability to work with a squad that does not include Lukaku, enabling him to plan effectively for the upcoming season.

Should Lukaku decide to join Juventus, it would leave Chelsea in a state of uncertainty, as they would need to wait for Vlahovic to accept an offer from one of the numerous clubs interested in acquiring his services. The west London team were once linked with Vlahovic, but it seems he’s off the list, with rumors stating that “Chelsea are unsure about signing another striker.”  While Lukaku had previously contemplated offers from Saudi Arabia, it now seems that those proposals have been set aside in favor of staying in Italy.

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Inter has withdrawn from the competition to secure the signing of Romelu Lukaku (30) from Chelsea. This decision comes as a result of the player engaging in negotiations with Juventus, as reported by Di Marzio. The future course for Lukaku remains uncertain at this point. It is evident that he won’t be joining Inter, but for Juventus to sign him, they would need to sell Dusan Vlahovic first. Alternatively, there are other possibilities to consider, such as a potential move to the Saudi Pro League or the potential scenario of Lukaku staying at CFC after all.