Romelu Lukaku could complete his return to Chelsea today. Romelu Lukaku moved another step closer to a Chelsea return after he was left out of the match-day squad for Inter’s friendly against Parma on Sunday night. The European champions have already agreed a £97.5million fee for the player who left Stamford Bridge in 2014 for just £28m to move to Everton. Lawyers are still picking through the fine details of the transfer and Lukaku’s personal terms, but that process looks set to be concluded on Monday.
Instead of travelling with the rest of his team-mates to Parma, Lukaku was able to stay home and pack ready to fly to London.
Lautaro Martinez was however with the Inter squad despite reports on Sunday that Tottenham had agreed a deal in excess of a club-record £60m fee for the Argentine. Inter beat Parma 2-0 thanks to goals from Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino, with Martinez playing the full match. Another former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is already convinced the deal for Lukaku is all but done.
“He’s coming home,” the Ivory Coast legend tweeted along with a mocked-up picture of Lukaku in the current Chelsea shirt.
Nevertheless, they are looking at Bosnia international Edin Dzeko as a replacement with personal terms on a two-year contract already agreed. Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata is another target, a move which could set off some sort of merry-go-round. The Serie A side have already identified Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham as a potential replacement if Zapata is to leave. The England international has struggled to feature under Thomas Tuchel and would be pushed even further down the pecking order by Lukaku’s arrival.
Tuchel made clear earlier in the week that Lukaku is a player who might fit his criteria although he refused to speak about the prospects of signing the Belgian. “I will not talk about players who don’t play in my squad. He is a fantastic player but a player from Inter and with all due respect I will not talk about him.
“I think with the exit from Olivier Giroud from the type of players we could use, a player used to playing with their backs to goal, whose strength is to keep possession from long balls.
“So we can add this direct style of play to our portfolio and this is the characteristic of player that is not Tammy [Abraham], Timo [Werner] or Kai [Havertz].
“So this is a profile we don’t have in the squad and could be useful, but not for any cost and not hectic or in panic as no matter what happens we will be competitive and have trust in our guys.”