How Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku can seal Inter Milan transfer return amid Antonio Conte decision

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku would reportedly need to take a significant pay cut to seal a dramatic return to Inter Milan this summer amid Antonio Conte Spurs decision.

Expectations were high when the Blues spent a club record £97.5million to sign the 28-year-old from Inter Milan last summer, but the Belgium international has struggled in his first season back at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku has scored 10 goals in 28 appearances this term and was at the centre of controversy after admitting in an interview with Sky Italia that he was unhappy with his lack of game time at Chelsea and that he harboured hopes of a return to former club Inter Milan in the future.

He was also in the headlines for the wrong reasons after only managing seven touches in 90 minutes during the Blues’ 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, which resulted in him being dropped for their 2-0 Champions League win over Lille.

“Yes also [that], It was not the moment after the match where everybody was focused on the few touches that he had to put him right into the next fire. It was the moment to take a step back. That was the decision and that’s it,” Tuchel explained in his post-match press conference.

“You can clearly see we have a strong win and strong performance. It was a tough match and almost every question is about Romelu. The focus is huge. There were nine other players who did not play.

“We should never forget we consider this sport a team sport and the eleven guys who play do everything to commit fully to what we plan and to commit fully to their teammates and those on the bench have to do the same and this is how it works.

“Especially at Chelsea and especially for us and this is how we win football matches.”

Tuchel’s decision to drop Lukaku paid dividends only eight minutes into the encounter against French Champions Lille, as Kai Havertz headed in from a corner to vindicate the choice.

The 28-year-old’s involvement in the Carabao Cup final is now in doubt, with many fans wanting to see Havertz start against an opposition he has already scored past this season.

Missing a major cup final or even being on the bench would be a big disappointment for Lukaku, and it’s therefore unsurprising to see news emerge in Italy of a potential return to Inter being talked up by the press.

Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Conte’s favourite wants to return to Inter and is willing to take a pay cut. “It’s still going to be a costly operation,” the Italian outlet have clarified, on the player who is the European champions’ highest-paid player, who currently earns around £325,000-per-week.

Chelsea’s stance on this development is still unknown but while it was hoped that Tuchel could eventually get Lukaku playing in his way of football, this hasn’t happened yet.

What makes Inter Milan a feasible destination too is the situation surrounding Antonio Conte at Spurs regarding his future.

After the 1-0 loss to Burnley, the Italian, who has a very good relationship with Lukaku, hinted at stepping down which would therefore scupper any chance of a Premier League switch for the Belgian.

“Believe me, we are working a lot. We are working a lot, we are working hard every day. I think that we are doing everything to change the situation but maybe it’s not enough.,” he admitted with a defeatist undertone in his post-match Burnley press conference on Wednesday night.

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“It’s not enough. I repeat, for me it’s very frustrating. Four defeats in the last five games. This is the first time in my life this type of situation has happened.

“Maybe I’m not so good for…. Maybe I’m not so good. Yes, maybe I’m not so good.

“I think Tottenham called me to improve the situation but I’m too honest. I’m too honest to close my eyes, you understand, and to continue to say ‘ok I want to finish the season in this way and ok my salary is good’.

“But I’m not this type of person. I have ambition, I’m a person who has ambition, I hate to lose and we lost, I repeat, four games in the last five games. And for me, I repeat, this is unacceptable.

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“I won’t accept this. I want to try to improve the situation and also to make assessment with the club because if we continue in this way, maybe we have to pay great attention because this league we can finish 10th, 12th, 13th the same way that when I arrive here the same position.”

With Conte not looking likely to last much longer in N17, that itself would kill off any Chelsea fans’ dreams of seeing Lukaku switch to the white of Tottenham in return for Harry Kane.

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