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Romelu Lukaku: Inter Milan in talks with Chelsea over loan deal for wantaway club-record signing

Inter Milan cannot afford to re-sign Romelu Lukaku permanently but are keen to bring him back to the San Siro on loan; any deal must make financial sense for Chelsea, who bought the striker for a club-record £97.5m fee last summer; Lukaku scored 15 goals in 44 games for the Blues

Romelu Lukaku
Image: Romelu Lukaku admitted he was keen to return to Inter Milan in an interview in December

Inter Milan are in talks with Chelsea about re-signing Romelu Lukaku on loan this summer.

Lukaku, who joined Chelsea for a club-record fee of £97.5m from Inter last August, wants to return to the San Siro after a disappointing 2021/22 campaign.

However, the deal must make sense financially for Chelsea if they are to sanction the striker's move back to Italy.

Inter cannot afford to sign Lukaku - who scored 64 goals in 95 games and helped them to the Serie A title during his time at the club - on a permanent deal.

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Romelu Lukaku told Sky in Italy of his desire to return to Inter in December

The Belgium international's lawyer met with Inter last week to enquire about the feasibility of a potential move back to Serie A, according to Sky in Italy.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has said the club are in "no rush" over Lukaku's potential return but remain keen on re-signing him this summer.

Inter are in the market for a forward and Marotta said he "hopes" Paulo Dybala will sign for them after leaving Juventus upon the expiry of his contract.

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Lukaku has now endured two unproductive spells at Chelsea. The 29-year-old's first was between 2011 and 2014, when he joined the Blues as a teenager from Anderlecht but spent the majority of his time on loan at West Brom and Everton.

He returned to Stamford Bridge last summer as one of the world's top strikers, but scored 15 goals in 44 games across all competitions for the Blues, and spent much of the second half of the campaign out of the starting XI.

The former Manchester United striker also upset Chelsea in December when he gave an unsanctioned interview to Sky in Italy in which he appeared to question head coach Thomas Tuchel's tactics, and expressed a desire to return to Inter in the future.


Which positions are Chelsea targeting?

Sky Sports News' senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

Chelsea are pressing ahead with their summer recruitment plans now that the £4.25bn Todd Boehly-led consortium takeover of the club has been completed.

The Blues have a verbal agreement already in place with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.

Jules Kounde
Image: Jules Kounde is a traget for Chelsea

Talks on a deal for Kounde had collapsed last year but there is optimism from all parties it will get done this time.

Paris Saint-Germain's Presnel Kimpembe is part of a shortlist of central defensive options and is Thomas Tuchel's preference. Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez and RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol are also among those being looked at.

Chelsea like Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but the expectation is he will end up at Real Madrid. PSV's Ibrahim Sangare is among the alternatives scouted.

What should Chelsea do this summer?

Chelsea transfer

Sky Sports football journalist Joe Shread:

Given Chelsea were crowned European champions just 12 months ago, it's perhaps surprising to hear Thomas Tuchel talking of the need for a "rebuild" this summer, as he did after his side ended their season with a home win over Watford. But that Champions League triumph in 2021 came out of the blue - Chelsea were fourth in the Premier League that year - and this arduous campaign has exposed the issues in the head coach's squad.

While Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been able to build squads to meet their specific demands, Tuchel has had to pull together a group of players signed by six different managers. With Todd Boehly now in charge, the time has come to back Tuchel and allow to him build his own squad capable of launching a title challenge for the first time since 2017.

The work must start in defence, where the departing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen must be replaced with two quality centre-backs. The time may also have come to replace Cesar Azpilicueta - a Chelsea legend but now 32 and reportedly keen on a return to Spain - with a more dynamic right-back. The Blues' reliance on Marcos Alonso - after Ben Chilwell's injury - cost them this season and with the left-back also said to be keen to go back to Spain, signing a replacement should be on the to-do list.

In midfield, decisions need to be made on the futures of N'Golo Kante and Jorginho, who are in their 30s and have just one year remaining on their contracts. Chelsea cannot allow them to go the same way as Rudiger and Christensen and leave for free, so must decide whether to offer them new deals this summer or let them go for a fee. Even if Kante stays, a younger option in the France midfielder's mould should be sought given the amount of time he has been unavailable in recent seasons.

Attack is the area of Chelsea's team that received the most investment in recent windows, but the Blues should not be put off from looking to strengthen their goalscoring options if an opportunity presents itself. The last player to score 20 goals in a season for the club was Eden Hazard, and he left three years ago, so clearly there is room for improvement in that area.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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