Chelsea ‘faces STAYING at Chelsea as Blues insist he will not be loaned out again’, amid interest from Inter Milan and Saudi Pro League clubs
Chelsea will not consider sending Romelu Lukaku on another loan spell, meaning he faces staying at Stamford Bridge under incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino, according to reports.
The Blues signed the Belgian striker from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021 after a blistering campaign for the Serie A side saw him clinch the Scudetto.
But despite his price tag of £98million, Lukaku’s move saw his form falter, and after giving an explosive interview to Sky Sports Italia revealing his desire to return to Inter, the forward was increasingly sidelined by ex-head coach Thomas Tuchel.
Persistent injury concerns compounded a calamitous season in west London, and at the end of the campaign, Lukaku accepted a loan move back to Inter.
Whilst the season was an uneven one, the 30-year-old ended the term with a run of much-improved form.
Romelu Lukaku will not be allowed another loan spell away from Chelsea, according to reports
Mauricio Pochettino has limited time to decide whether to include Luakuku in his future plans
But as per the Sun, Chelsea will not entertain another loan for their player, and instead give him the option of staying or going.
Pochettino – who will start work in west London on July 1 – is thought to be considering how to integrate Lukaku into his plans and there is a belief that the Argentine manager could help bring out the best in his forward, as he did with Tottenham’s talismanic No 9, Harry Kane.
In an interview on Tuesday, former Chelsea star Shaun Wright-Phillips suggested that Pochettino could play Lukaku alongside new Blues recruit Christopher Nkunku in a bid to turbo-charge the side’s attack.
However, Lukaku still heavily favours returning to Inter on a permanent basis, although concerns over his hefty price tag as Chelsea look for some return on their £97.5million investment could prove a sticking point.
Mail Sport reported that Inter are in the process of preparing a second loan bid after their first offer was rebuffed, although this may fall on deaf ears as Chelsea seek a different proposal.
Inter’s crosstown rivals AC Milan are said to be interested in the player – although Lukaku’s lawyer quashed speculation of talks between the two parties – as are a number of Saudi Pro League sides.
The 30-year-old is loath to return to west London after a lacklustre season in 2021-22
Lukaku has received offers from Al-Hilal, as top Saudi clubs continue their aggressive recruitment drive across the European top flight, but the player is thought to be adamant about staying in Europe, and ideally in Milan.
Chelsea have been extremely active in the summer transfer market as they bid to offload a number of players to ensure they can recruit whilst complying with Financial Fair Play regulations.
In the two transfer windows following the May 2022 takeover of the club by co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, the Blues have spent a staggering £600m on inbound players.
But summer business has gone some way to redressing the balance, with exits for high profile stars such as Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, Edouard Mendy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and high-earning N’Golo Kante, who left the club for Al-Ittihad as a free agent.