Romelu Lukaku is set to land in Milan tonight in order to complete a loan move back to Inter Milan, completing a transfer saga which has been humiliating for Chelsea.
The Blues spent just shy of £100m bringing the Belgian back to Stamford Bridge for a second spell last summer, but after a torrid season in which Lukaku struggled and manager Thomas Tuchel failed to find a way to fit him into his 3-4-3 system, the striker is set to return to former club Inter once again in a loan deal which will see Chelsea recoup less than £10m.
Lukaku had spearheaded the Inter attack under previous manager Antonio Conte, scoring 64 goals in 95 league appearances to guide the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title since 2009.
On Tuesday afternoon, Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed that Lukaku is due in Milan imminently to complete his move, telling reporters outside an Italian Football Federation meeting in Rome that Lukaku will arrive ‘this evening, I think.’
The 29-year-old has accepted a significant pay cut in order to return to Inter, after toiling in his second spell at Chelsea, having first been on the club’s books between 2011 and 2014.
In 44 appearances last season, Lukaku managed to score 15 goals, but only eight of those strikes came in the Premier League. He scored twice to help Chelsea become world champions for the first time in February when they won the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, but was frequently left out of the side in favour of non-strikers like Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic in the latter stages of the campaign.
Lukaku will become yet another player Chelsea have lost on a cut-price deal this summer, with defenders Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger already having left for free at the end of their contracts.
At the end of last year, Lukaku conducted an interview with Sky Italia in which he expressed regret at having left Inter, leaving Tuchel furious. Lukaku was subsequently left out of the squad which drew at home to Liverpool in Chelsea’s next match.
Chelsea are understood to be trying to negotiate a deal for both Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake from Manchester City in order to reinforce their squad.
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