Romelu Lukaku’s move to Chelsea

Sky Sports

Romelu Lukaku left Chelsea in 2014 and earlier in the week instructed Inter Milan to allow him to leave if a suitable offer came in; Inter fans protested against the club’s Chinese owners in 2-0 friendly win at Parma on Sunday

Play Video – Is Lukaku clutching a Chelsea shirt?Romelu Lukaku’s move to Chelsea looks to edging closer as he’s pictured with a Chelsea shirt in the back of a car leaving Milan.

Romelu Lukaku has arrived in London to complete his £97.5m (€115m) transfer to Chelsea from Inter Milan.

The 28-year-old landed in Biggin Hill Airport on Wednesday evening after a stop in Monte Carlo

He underwent the first part of his medical in Milan after Chelsea agreed in principle a club-record deal to re-sign the striker.

The paperwork is now with club lawyers, and once that is formalised, Lukaku is expected to sign a five-year contract, worth £200,000 a week.

Inter have previously rejected two offers from Chelsea for the Belgium international, the second of which was worth £85m (€100m) plus left-back Marcos Alonso.

Meanwhile, Roma have agreed a £34m deal from Chelsea, according to Sky in Italy.

The 23-year-old striker must now decide if he wants to join the Italian club, who are managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Fellow Serie A side Atalanta and Arsenal are also interested in Abraham, but Chelsea’s preference is to sell him to a foreign club, making a move to their London rivals less likely.

Lukaku left Chelsea in 2014 after making just 15 appearances there following his arrival at Stamford Bridge from Anderlecht in 2011.

One of the most prolific strikers in Europe, Lukaku scored 87 goals in 166 games for Everton between 2014 and 2017 and found the net 42 times in 96 appearances during his two years at Manchester United before signing for Inter in 2019.

He scored 24 goals in Serie A last season, helping Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years as the club put an end to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian top-flight champions.

Chelsea will be keen to conclude the deal before 11pm on Tuesday so the player can be registered by UEFA to be considered for the Super Cup against Villarreal on Wednesday.

When the deal is completed, it will make Lukaku the most expensive player in history in terms of combined transfer fees, standing at a staggering £308.5m – over £30m more than Neymar in second (£271.7m).

AP - Romelu Lukaku, Belgium
Image:Lukaku scored four goals for Belgium at Euro 2020 as his country reached the quarter-finals

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel was reluctant to admit a deal for Lukaku was close, but did stress the No 9 role is an area the club are looking to strengthen after Olivier Giroud left the club to join AC Milan.

“We lost Olivier Giroud who played a crucial role in the club,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “He was the kind of profile who likes to play with his back to goal, who likes to hold up balls, who creates space for Werner, Havertz, Pulisic; who is ready to fight physically with defenders.

Olivier Giroud was an unused substitute as Chelsea won the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel in May
Image:Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea are looking for a No. 9 after Olivier Giroud left the club

“This is the kind of profile that we don’t have in our squad right now and that we are looking for. It’s still not the moment to talk about names because we have nobody signed yet and we will show all the respect to other clubs.

“Romelu is one of the guys like Haaland at Dortmund, Lewandowski at Bayern, Harry Kane at Tottenham, who is a real No 9 who loves to score and who has a presence in the box. That is not a secret. The sentence [Tuchel describing Lukaku as a ‘fantastic player’] is easy to repeat for any coach in the world.

“But [his] is the kind of profile we’re looking for and if it is possible to convince agents and clubs, we will do our best.”

Tuchel also stressed the need to improve after “big signings” elsewhere in the form of Jack Grealish to Manchester City and Jadon Sancho to Manchester United.

“They are big signings and we are also trying to improve the squad; at the same time we give all our energy to the guys that we have – it’s our goal to improve the group we have,” Tuchel added.

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