The Blues have seemingly given up on fixing the situation with their club-record signing despite public comments to the contrary
Chelsea have indicated they are ready to cut their loan fee to allow club-record signing Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter, OBJECTIVE understand.
The £100m ($136m) signing is pushing for a move away from Stamford Bridge through his newly appointed solicitor Sebastien Ledure.
After initially asking for €25m (£21m/$27m), the Blues now look set to lower their price to just €12m (£10m/$12m) , with Inter’s latest approach offering €7m (£6m/$7m). .
Why are Chelsea willing to lose so much money?
Lukaku is pushing hard for the move despite senior Chelsea officials trying to appease a player who has lost faith in the west London environment.
There are also questions about whether Thomas Tuchel is the right coach to get the most out of the striker, who has spent much of 2022 on the bench.
Chelsea’s new ownership group, backed by Clearlake Capital and led by Todd Boehly, has not had a significant impact on the situation, with many members of the old regime still running the show.
However, a message has been sent to the football operation to support Tuchel’s wishes even if it turns out to be costly.
Having only signed Lukaku a year ago, the Blues stand to lose a staggering amount of money on Lukaku, with the loan fee not even covering their annual installments due after signing him last summer.
What did Chelsea say about Lukaku?
Petr Cech has publicly stated that Lukaku has a future. “I personally think Romelu Lukaku will have a great season,” said Chelsea’s technical and performance adviser and former goalkeeper. Sky Sports News.
“Last season we saw how strong he could be when he came on. Unfortunately the long-term injury he suffered against Villa slowed everything down and then he also had Covid-19.
“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 particular season with the Covid-19 issues around Christmas. He was one of those affected players.
“I have full confidence that Romelu Lukaku will bounce back and have a solid season.”
However, behind the scenes there is a growing acceptance that they will have to let him go for a loss.
Could Chelsea sign an Inter player in return?
The Blues are trying to take advantage of the situation to poach one of Inter’s defenders.
But the Serie A club don’t want to include Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni or Denzel Dumfries.
It comes with scarce defensive options 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 Argentine striker is considered untouchable at San Siro.
Will Chelsea add a striker to replace Lukaku?
Although Manchester City and Liverpool have added powerful forwards in Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, Chelsea could walk away from signing a pure striker.
They no longer seem keen on following up on their historic interest, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, despite pushing for a move away from Germany.
The preference appears to be for inside strikers or high-energy rush forwards, with Man City duo Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus being considered, alongside RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku.
The forward market is expected to heat up later in the transfer window.
Armando Broja will be looking to impress Tuchel in pre-season, with West Ham, Newcastle, AC Milan and Napoli interested in signing him.
The Blues are also ready to drop Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech for the right price, but found no obvious takers at the start of the transfer window.
Dortmund explored the possibility of signing Werner but cooled their interest.
Chelsea are ready to replace any players sold with a new signing and are prioritizing closing gaps in their defense by pushing to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.