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Chelsea green-light 29-year-old underperforming ace’s summer exit

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Transfer News: Chelsea open talks with Inter Milan for Romelu Lukaku.

Transfer News: Chelsea open talks with Inter Milan for Romelu Lukaku

One year is a long time in a sporting context. Chelsea announced the club-record acquisition of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan on August 12, 2021. Barely ten months later, that story is likely to come to an unceremonious end, possibly by the end of this week according to the Daily Telegraph‘s Matt Law. 

Law reported earlier today that Inter Milan have officially opened talks with Chelsea to negotiate a return for their former No. 9, which is expected to be a complicated procedure given the circumstances. 

It is understood that Inter officials opened dialogue on the possibility of a loan deal with new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly for the first time today, and Lukaku’s representatives were also involved in the discussion. All parties remain in agreement that an exit for the striker is in the best interest of everyone involved. 

Transfer News: Chelsea open talks with Inter Milan for Romelu Lukaku.
Romelu Lukaku’s big-money move to Chelsea hasn’t gone according to plan. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Lukaku scored a remarkable 64 goals and provided 16 assists in 95 games for Inter, a tally that convinced Chelsea to fork out a king’s ransom for his services. To claim that he has fallen short of expectations would be an understatement.

However, after a lacklustre season and a controversial Sky Italia interview which enraged a large section of the Chelsea fanbase, the Belgian has rapidly transitioned into an undesirable asset. 

That is definitely a tough and costly pill to swallow for Chelsea, who not only have to take a major hit on their investment in the striker but also find a replacement who wouldn’t cause similar chaos and deliver on the pitch in a better fashion. 

What are Chelsea’s options? 

As the Blues prepare for life without Lukaku, they are weighing up options to lead them up front next season.  One strong shout doesn’t involve signing anyone, but one of Chelsea’s own.

Cobham graduates like Reece James and Mason Mount have established themselves as Premier League stars, and next in line to get a crack at the big time could be academy striker Armando Broja, who impressed during his loan spell at Southampton last season. 

Transfer News: Chelsea open talks with Inter Milan for Romelu Lukaku. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Chelsea’s record arrival has endured a frustrating return to Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Now in terms of signing a big name, Chelsea are believed to be interested in RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele who will soon be a free agent. 

Nkunku is expected to cost a “nine-figure” sum, Sterling is likely to demand assurances over regular play-time and Dembele is understood to be keen on a reunion with former boss Tuchel. 

More Chelsea news:

Chelsea are unlikely to pay an astronomical amount for any player this window, given the financial hit they will already be taking by loaning out Lukaku. The Sterling transfer will require a fee but is likely to be a reasonable one in comparison.

The Dembele deal, if it goes through, has the potential to be one of the best free transfers in recent memory.  A lot is yet to happen at SW6 this summer, and we can only expect a clearer picture in the weeks to come.

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