Romelu Lukaku ChelseaGetty Images

Lukaku admits £98m Chelsea transfer was 'a mistake’ and he always intended to return to Inter

Romelu Lukaku has admitted his £98 million ($116m) transfer to Chelsea was “a mistake” and he always intended to return to Inter. The Belgium international smashed records at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2021 as he headed back to the Premier League, but has gone back to Italy just 12 months on.

The 29-year-old frontman struggled to adjust to the tactical demands of Thomas Tuchel in west London, leading to just 15 goals in 44 appearances.

It was quickly determined that a loan switch to San Siro would be the best option for all concerned.

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Does Lukaku regret Chelsea transfer?

Lukaku accepts that the wrong career call was made in pushing for a second stint at Chelsea.

He said during an event to present Inter’s new kit for the 2022-23 campaign: “The biggest challenge of my career will be this season here. I left. It was a mistake.

“Now I am happy to be wearing this jersey, the team knows what we need to do, it’ll be a great challenge this season and we need to continue like this.

“I realised last season when I was in England, just how important Inter are in the world. The club’s profile is improving on an international scale, the social media approach is really important too and you can see how we act in the locker room, in training, our hugs and jokes.

“Milan is a wonderful city and that is why I kept the old apartment when I went to London, because my mother was coming here all the time and I wanted to return too.”

Does Lukaku have any future at Chelsea?

Lukaku was eager to head back to Chelsea and prove a point with the Blues having previously made 15 goalless appearances for the club between 2011 and 2014.

A big-money move did not work out as planned and there appears to be little chance of a slate being wiped clean for the Belgian by Premier League heavyweights.

Tuchel is ruling nothing out, but the German tactician is already moving on from a failed experiment after putting another eye-catching deal in place for England international forward Raheem Sterling.

He told Sky Sports when asked if Lukaku has a future at Chelsea: “Given the fact he’s just on loan, of course there’s a chance.

“I don’t know if it’s very likely, but it’s not on me to give an outlook on that. There is a chance for it.”

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