Who could replace Lukaku at Chelsea?
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New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly reportedly still needs convincing that the Blues should allow Romelu Lukaku to join Inter Milan. The Belgian is thought to be closing in on sealing a return to the San Siro on loan having experienced a torrid time at Stamford Bridge.
The 29-year-old only joined the Premier League last summer in a £97.5million deal from Inter. It was hoped that he could fire Thomas Tuchel’s side on a challenge for the league title, though those thoughts were quickly extinguished.
Lukaku struggled to fit into Tuchel’s side, scoring just eight goals in the top-flight as the Blues tailed off. Having fallen out with the German manager, it was expected that Chelsea would look to move Lukaku on this summer.
But according to The Athletic, owner Boehly is still yet to be fully convinced that letting him go out on loan is the ‘right decision’. Lukaku is described as having a healthy rapport with the American billionaire who retains doubts over the logic of letting him go.
That could put Boehly into conflict with boss Tuchel though, who has a starkly contrasting opinion of the striker. The German’s relationship with Lukaku has been badly strained by the events of last season, that saw the Belgian deliver a come and get me plea via a Sky Italia interview in December.
Their relationship since then has been at a low point, with Tuchel frequently dropping Lukaku from his starting line-up. It is thought that while Tuchel remains in charge of the Blues it is hard to see Lukaku staying.
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It would appear likely that Tuchel will be able to convince Boehly to come round to his point of view, with talks stepping up between Inter and Chelsea. An improved loan offer is anticipated after the Serie A side saw their first offer turned down.
Inter are said to be ready to cover the whole salary they agreed with Lukaku and will increase the fee to a figure Chelsea would see as being acceptable. There is optimism that a deal can be reached with many involved said to see it as the best move for all parties.
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