Inter Milan are set to meet Romelu Lukaku’s lawyer on Tuesday to inquire about the feasibility of a potential move back to Serie A, sources say heaven in Italy.
Lukaku joined Chelsea for £97.5million last summer and admitted in a controversial interview that he wants to return to Inter in the future heaven in Italy last December.
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said the club were “in no rush” over Lukaku’s potential return but remain interested in signing him this summer.
However, they would struggle to offer Chelsea anything close to the fee they received for the Belgium forward last summer.
Lukaku failed to justify his hefty price tag this season and struggled for game time under Thomas Tuchel, despite ending the season as the club’s top scorer with 15 goals.
Inter are on the hunt for a striker this summer and Marotta said he ‘hopes’ Paulo Dybala will sign for them after leaving Juventus when his contract expires.
What positions are Chelsea aiming for?
Melissa Reddy, Sky Sports News senior reporter:
Chelsea are moving ahead with their summer recruitment plans after completing the club’s £4.25billion consortium takeover led by Todd Boehly.
The Blues have already reached a verbal agreement with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.
Talks over a deal for Kounde collapsed last year but there is optimism from all quarters that this time it will happen.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe has been shortlisted as a central defender in favor of Thomas Tuchel. Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol are also among the candidates.
Chelsea like Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but he is expected to end up at Real Madrid. PSV’s Ibrahim Sangare is one of the sought-after alternatives.
What should Chelsea do this summer?
Joe Shread, Sky Sports football journalist:
Given that Chelsea were only crowned European champions 12 months ago, it is perhaps surprising to hear Thomas Tuchel speak of the need for a ‘rebuild’ this summer, as he did after his side ended the season with a home win against Watford had finished. But that Champions League triumph in 2021 came out of the blue – Chelsea were fourth in the Premier League that year – and this difficult season has exposed the problems in the head coach’s squad.
While Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola were able to build squads to suit their specific needs, Tuchel had to assemble a group of players signed by six different managers. With Todd Boehly now the time has come to back Tuchel and allow him to build his own squad capable of launching a title challenge for the first time since 2017.
The work has to start in defence, where the departures of Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen will have to be replaced by two top-class centre-backs. It could also be time to replace Cesar Azpilicueta – a Chelsea legend but now 32 and reportedly keen on a Spain return – with a more dynamic right-back. The Blues’ reliance on Marcos Alonso – after Ben Chilwell’s injury – has cost them this season and with the left-back also said to be keen on returning to Spain, signing a replacement should be on the to-do list.
In midfield, decisions need to be made about the future of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who is in his 30s with just one year left on contract. Chelsea can’t allow them to go the same route as Rudiger and Christensen and go for free, so she’ll have to decide whether to make them new offers this summer or let them go for a fee. Even if Kante stays, given the amount of time he has been unavailable in recent seasons, a younger option should be sought in the Frenchman’s form.
Attack is the area of Chelsea’s team that has seen the most investment in recent windows, but the Blues shouldn’t be deterred from bolstering their scoring chances when an opportunity presents itself. The last player to score 20 goals in a season for the club was Eden Hazard and he left the club three years ago so there is clearly room for improvement in that area.