Luk who’s back! Chelsea reunite with Romelu Lukaku for £98m – seven years after he left the club – as Thomas Tuchel eyes tilt at Premier League title with Inter Milan No 9 spearheading his attack
- Chelsea have made a splash in the transfer market by re-signing Romelu Lukaku
- The Belgian striker has returned to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £98million
- Lukaku struggled at Chelsea in his first spell and left permanently back in 2014
- His success at Inter Milan, who are in a financial crisis, has tempted Chelsea
Chelsea have completed a £98million deal to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the Premier League.
Talks with Inter Milan reached a conclusion on Saturday after days of negotiations over the fee and structure of the transfer.
The 28-year-old landed at Biggin Hill airport on Wednesday evening ahead of his move back to Stamford Bridge, having passed the main part of his medical in Milan on Monday.
He then flew to Nice for meetings with his agent Federico Pastorello in Monaco on Tuesday and has now put pen to paper on an emotional return to west London.
Chelsea have secured the return of Romelu Lukaku after striking a £98m deal with Inter Milan
Lukaku is returning to play for Chelsea for the first time in seven years after a tough first spell
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is looking to build on Champions League success this season
Thomas Tuchel had been desperate to bolster his attacking options on the eve of the new season as the German coach eyes a shot at the Premier League title in 2021-22.
Olivier Giroud departed for AC Milan earlier this summer, Tammy Abraham has been made available for a move away and Timo Werner struggled in his first season following a £52m switch from RB Leipzig.
Lukaku agreed to a Chelsea return at the end of last week after it became clear Inter were willing to sell to alleviate their growing financial concerns.
It is understood that Lukaku has agreed terms on a contract worth around £10m a year after tax.
The deal to bring him back to west London also sees Manchester United – where Lukaku played for two years before heading to Serie A to join Inter – receive £3.8m as a sell-on clause.
The Blues kick their season off with a clash against London rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday, and they’ll hope to have Lukaku available for his second debut.
Chelsea had been keen on Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland – only to find that path blocked on more than one occasion by the German club.
The Belgian striker has developed into one of the most potent strikers in Europe in recent years
Lukaku has scored an incredible 64 goals in 95 appearances across all competitions for Inter
Dortmund sold Jadon Sancho to Manchester United earlier in the transfer window and so they were only prepared to accept a ‘crazy offer’ for the Norwegian striker, something Chelsea were not prepared to give.
Lukaku, 28, returns with a point to prove at Chelsea having failed to fulfil his potential in his first go-round having joined as an exciting 18-year-old from Anderlecht.
He spent three seasons at Stamford Bridge at the start of his career but only made 15 appearances before heading to Everton.
Lukaku has since established himself as one of the best strikers in Europe, playing a key role in Inter Milan winning their first league title in more than a decade.
The striker netted 87 goals in 166 matches for Everton, 42 goals in 96 games for Manchester United and 64 goals in 95 appearances for Inter.
Lukaku (right) had to leave Chelsea to get his breakthrough but now he’s returning in his prime
Lukaku moved to Everton where he continued his development as a clinical goalscorer
The Belgian wanted to return to Chelsea in 2017 but no offer came and he joined Man United
Chelsea originally floated the idea of a player-plus-cash deal with Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta both on the Blues’ trading block.
But cash-strapped Inter wanted the entire fee paid out, rather than get a player as a subsidy, in their bid to arrest their financial crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the club into economic downfall, with a £250m investment from Oaktree Capital at the end of May helping to keep the club afloat.
Inter saw boss Antonio Conte resign back in May while star right back Achraf Hakimi was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £60m.
Tottenham are looking to prey on Inter’s financial vulnerability, too, having agreed a £60m fee for striker Lautaro Martinez last week.
But the deal to send Lukaku to Chelsea could yet throw a spanner in the works for Spurs with Inter aware they cannot strip all of their high value assets in one summer.
Inter Milan have now lost their star striker as well as boss Antonio Conte (right) this summer
Chelsea believe Lukaku’s addition can see them kick on from winning the Champions League