Romelu Lukaku remains in regular contact with former employers Inter Milan, who could re-sign him from Chelsea after it emerged he is willing to reduce his salary.
It has been a challenging season for Lukaku back at Stamford Bridge. Despite consecutive seasons with 30 goals or more for Inter Milan, the centre-forward has only managed 12 goals in all competitions this season for the Blues.
His exit from Inter only came out of necessity, due to their financial woes. But it would have been expected that his Premier League return would pan out better.
Pundit Glenn Hoddle has claimed Thomas Tuchel “doesn’t quite know what to do with” Lukaku. Indeed, the Belgian has only completed 90 minutes in three Premier League matches in 2022.
Having cost a club-record fee close to the £100m landmark, Chelsea would have been hoping for a better return from their frontman. Now, as soon as the club’s change of ownership goes through, his future could be at risk.
Lukaku has made no secret of his desire to return to Inter one day. That could come sooner rather than later if Gazzetta Dello Sport are to be believed.
According to the Milan-based newspaper, Lukaku remains in close contact with Inter. They could consequently take him on an expensive loan deal.
Chelsea have him under contract until 2026, so it may be more prudent for them to lend him elsewhere to protect his sell-on value.
The stumbling block had been thought to be Lukaku’s wages. He currently earns around €12.5m per season (£200,000 per week) in west London.
Lukaku to accept Inter wage cut
But in an update that could push the transfer forward, Gazzetta now reveal that Lukaku would be willing to drop to €7.5m per season (£120,000 per week) to facilitate his return to Italy.
Inter are willing to invest in a loan move for Lukaku, paying Chelsea a significant sum up front. The Serie A champions are fully aware of their former forward’s desire to return.
Questions have been asked of their frontline since his departure in the summer. Ex-Manchester City man Edin Dzeko made a good impression initially, but he may only be a short-term measure. Besides, there are doubts over the long-term future of Lautaro Martinez too.
If Lukaku can pick up from where he left off, his return to Inter would be a no-brainer for the Nerazzurri. Now, it seems he is willing to make the financial sacrifice to make it happen.
Furthermore, he is said to be in contact with their head coach Simone Inzaghi, even though he wasn’t in charge during Lukaku’s time at the club.
Therefore, the groundworks are in place for Chelsea to send Lukaku back to Inter. Obviously, it all depends on if they are cleared to do transfer business in the summer.