Romelu Lukaku Inter GFXGetty/GOAL

Lukaku to Inter back ON: Chelsea will reduce loan fee to offload £100m flop in transfer compromise

Chelsea have indicated that they are willing to reduce their loan fee to allow their club-record signing Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter, GOAL understands. 

The £100 million ($136m) signing is pushing for a move away from Stamford Bridge through his newly appointed lawyer Sebastien Ledure. 

After initially asking for €25 million (£21m/$27m), the Blues now seem willing to drop their price to just €12m (£10m/$12m), with Inter's latest approach offering €7m (£6m/$7m). 

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Why are Chelsea willing to lose so much money?

Lukaku is pushing hard for the move despite senior officials at Chelsea trying to appease a player who has lost trust in the environment in west London. 

There are also doubts about whether Thomas Tuchel is the right manager to get the best out of the striker, who spent much of 2022 on the bench. 

Chelsea's new ownership group which is backed by Clearlake Capital and led by Todd Boehly hasn't significantly impacted the situation with many from the old regime still running the show.

However, there has been a message sent down to the football operation to back Tuchel's wishes even if it proves expensive. 

Having only signed Lukaku one year ago, the Blues stand to lose a staggering amount of money on Lukaku with the loan fees not even covering their owed yearly installments after they signed him last summer. 

What have Chelsea said about Lukaku?

Petr Cech has publicly stated Lukaku has a future. "I personally believe Romelu Lukaku will have a great season," Chelsea's technical and performance advisor and former goalkeeper told Sky Sports News.

"Last season we saw how strong he can be when he came. Unfortunately, the long term injury he sustained against Villa slowed everything down, and then he had Covid-19 as well.

"We could see towards the end of the season when Romelu Lukaku was fit and ready to go how strong he is. We had a peculiar season with the Covid-19 issues around Christmas. He was one of those players affected.

"I have full confidence Romelu Lukaku will bounce back and have a strong season."

However, behind the scenes there's an increasing acceptance they will have to let him go for a loss.

Could Chelsea sign an Inter player in return?

The Blues are trying to leverage the situation to poach one of Inter's defenders.

But the Serie A club are not wanting to include any of Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni or Denzel Dumfries. 

This comes with defensive options scarce at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

They have also been linked with Lautaro Martinez but the Argentina striker is seen as untouchable at San Siro.

Will Chelsea add a striker to replace Lukaku?

Despite the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool adding powerful strikers in Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, Chelsea may shift away from signing a pure striker of their own. 

They don't appear keen any longer to follow up on their historic interest Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski despite him pushing for a move away from Germany. 

The preference seems to be on inside forwards or high-energy pressing attackers with Man City duo Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus being considered, alongside RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku. 

The market for attackers is expected to heat up further late on in the transfer window. 

Armando Broja will try to impress Tuchel in pre-season, with West Ham, Newcastle, AC Milan and Napoli interested in signing him. 

The Blues are also open to letting go of either Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech for the right price but haven't found any obvious takers in the early part of the transfer window.

Dortmund explored the option of signing Werner but have cooled their interest.

Chelsea are willing to replace any players sold with a new signing and are prioritising plugging gaps in their defence by pushing to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

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