Transfers: Chelsea target Griezman, Grealish 'warned off' City
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Chelsea are reportedly in ‘hot talks’ to sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan, although the striker’s past comments may indicate a reluctance to move back to west London. The Belgian spent three seasons on Chelsea’s books before joining Everton in 2014, a significant step in a career which subsequently took off.
It is no secret that the Blues have been hunting down a top-class striker this summer, given that Timo Werner has not been as potent as desired in front of goal.
Erling Haaland has often been touted as their top choice, although Borussia Dortmund’s extortionate valuation may well make that situation unworkable from Marina Granovskaia’s perspective.
As such, The Sun claim that communication between Chelsea and Inter regarding Lukaku is ‘hot’, as Thomas Tuchel’s side chase down a Plan B.
However, Lukaku’s past comments on his club future could indicate that Chelsea will have their work cut out in luring him back to Stamford Bridge.
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In June, the 28-year-old responded to a fan question on Twitter by saying: “I am happy at Inter.”
Weeks before that, Lukaku reaffirmed his desire to stay with the Nerazzurri, despite the departure of esteemed manager, Antonio Conte.
According to The Guardian, he said: “Yes, I am staying. I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager.
“It was a very positive conversation. There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning the league].”
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On top of that, recent comments are not the only thing suggesting that the powerful front-man may be prepared to concretely pull the curtain on a potential Stamford Bridge return.
After leaving permanently in 2014, he said: “Choices have been made by me. By me. Not by them.
“Everyone says it is Mourinho’s fault, but it is not his fault because I made the decision. I went to his office to ask if I could go.”
Of course, Chelsea are no longer managed by such a controversial figure, but it would be hard to argue that unfinished business could be on Lukaku’s mind when considering a return to the Bridge.
When he scored 17 Premier League goals on loan at West Brom, or 15 the following year with Everton, he might have felt as though he had unfinished business to attend to while still on the books at Chelsea.
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However, they opted to take the money and send him on his way with only 15 goalless appearances to show for it.
After Everton, Lukaku went through an up-and-down spell at Manchester United before a career-changing move to Italy where the 6ft 3in striker has been a revelation.
Last campaign, he was awarded Serie A player of the season as he lashed home 24 goals on the way to Inter’s first Scudetto since 2010.
Without a doubt, Conte masterminded that triumph, but Lukaku appears ready to give incoming manager Simone Inzaghi a chance to show his worth.
Indeed, during his five years at Lazio, Inzaghi worked wonders with Ciro Immobile’s career, so his track record of working with strikers is accomplished.
When all is said and done, Lukaku was often given a hard time by English football fans, while he seems to have found a home for himself out in Italy.
A bid by the reigning Champions League holders would certainly give the player food for thought, but unless he is willing to backtrack on comments past and present, Chelsea may have to look elsewhere.
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