Chelsea have agreed to let Romelu Lukaku return to Inter Milan, in a one-year loan agreement for a reported fee of around €8 plus add-ons.
The forward has been pushing really hard to go back to the Serie A club and Chelsea have finally decided that it’s better to send out a disgruntled player rather than inflicting more damage by holding onto him.
Fabrizio Romano has claimed that there is no buy option or obligation clause at the end of the loan spell meaning the Belgian forward will be coming back to Stamford Bridge next summer.
▫️ Lukaku’s salary will be around €8m.
▫️ NO buy option or obligation clause.
▫️ Add-ons related to team performances. pic.twitter.com/3sEeQtfXs0
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 21, 2022
Romelu Lukaku surely has to be one of the biggest flops in the Premier League history as Chelsea had paid around €113 million for him just 12 months ago. During the 2021/22 season, the forward netted only eight goals in 26 league games for the Blues and as per the rumours, he had been trying since December to move back to Inter.
There will obviously be a lot of post-mortem as to why Romelu Lukaku failed at Chelsea but currently, Thomas Tuchel will have to urgently bring in a proper replacement. Lukaku was his marquee forward and now that he’s leaving, there will be a gaping hole at the top of the pitch.
Several players have been linked with Chelsea so we take a look at which player or players could come in and take Lukaku’s place in the team.
Raheem Sterling – Man City:
Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Sterling in the previous few days and now that Lukaku is leaving, Tuchel is surely going to press on in terms of this transfer.
Raheem Sterling has not yet made up his mind regarding a new contract with Man City and with just 12 months left on his current deal, Pep Guardiola is now open to selling him off.
The England international is primarily a left-winger but he is more than capable of playing in a more central role. Also, Man City want around £60 million for his sale and this price is not going to burn a hole in Chelsea’s pocket.
Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona:
Dembele’s contract situation at Barcelona is also very fragile and if he is not ready to accept Barca’s terms then Xavi will not hold onto him.
His time at the Camp Nou has been riddled with injuries but the Frenchman is still 25 years old meaning he still has a lot of time to improve.
Ousmane Dembele managed to pick up his performances this season, assisting 13 goals in 21 league matches for Barcelona so he’s definitely a risk worth taking.
Richarlison – Everton:
Everton manager Frank Lampard has to sell either Calvert-Lewin or Richalison in order to fund his rebuild and the latter is more likely to leave at this point in time.
Chelsea have been keeping tabs on the situation and if they get a sniff that Richalison wants and exit then they are sure to pounce.
Christopher Nkunku – RB Leipzig:
RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku is also on Chelsea’s radar but several other clubs are also inclined to sign him.
Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG are all interested in Nkunku so Chelsea will really have to sweat it out if they are serious about signing the forward who netted 20 goals and provided 13 assists in the Bundesliga this season.
Victor Osimhen – Napoli:
The 23-year-old has also been on a goal-scoring spree for Napoli but like Nkunku, he too is wanted by multiple clubs.
Osimhen scored 14 goals in 27 league games for Napoli and his performances have caught the attention of Spurs as well as Arsenal. On top of that, Napoli have slapped a very steep price tag on his shoulders.