Sunday, June 26

Inter and Chelsea reach agreement in principle over Romelu Lukaku loan return

Inter have found an agreement in principle with Chelsea over the season-long loan return of striker Romelu Lukaku, 90min can confirm.

The Belgian is set to bring to an end a mightily underwhelming spell back at Stamford Bridge by rejoining the Nerazzurri after just one season away.

Although an option to buy, an obligation to buy and an additional year have all been discussed, 90min understands that the two parties have agreed on a straight one-year loan for Lukaku. Inter will also pay an €8m fee, which could rise to €10m with add-ons.

While there is no obligation or option for a permanent transfer at this stage, sources have told 90min that there is scope for an agreement in the future.

Lukaku only joined Chelsea from Inter last summer in a blockbuster £97.5m move, but endured a forgettable comeback season at Stamford Bridge. His campaign was derailed by a bout of Covid-19, an ankle injury and a self-sabotaging interview with Italian media where he professed his love for his former club – all of which came in quick succession.

That now-infamous interview in particular soured Lukaku’s relationship with Chelsea supporters and manager Thomas Tuchel, and while the German coach was open to the player remaining in west London, an exit was viewed as the best outcome for all concerned.

Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyHarry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Raheem Sterling & Gabriel Jesus’ futures, Chelsea’s interest in Jules Kounde & Robert Lewandowski plus Man Utd’s Frenkie de Jong pursuit. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

The 29-year-old had already agreed personal terms with Inter on a reduce wage to smoothen the deal, and Chelsea have also agreed to pay a percentage of the forward’s salary.

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Although he finished the season as the Blues’ top goalscorer, the Belgium only netted 15 times in all competitions – including just eight strikes in the Premier League. That was in stark contrast to the 64 goals in 95 games he rattled in for Inter.

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