Chelsea have no interest in keeping striker Romelu Lukaku after his loan at Inter Milan comes to an end, according to reports in Italy.
Lukaku re-joined Chelsea in the summer of 2021 for a club-record £97.5million fee.
He hit the ground running before a controversial interview with Sky Italia derailed his season.
The Belgian striker explained how he was struggling to adapt to Thomas Tuchel’s tactics before declaring his love for the club he had only just left to return to Stamford Bridge.
A return to Inter seemed inevitable and Lukaku was granted his wish last summer, joining on loan for the entirety of the 2022-23 campaign.
The 29-year-old has struggled to get back to his best at the San Siro – mainly due to his injury problems.
There is a huge question mark over the player’s long-term future at Chelsea ahead of the summer transfer window.
Blues head coach Graham Potter has not had a proper look at Lukaku having replaced Tuchel in September.
Despite the outrageous amount of money spent on several new players, the club lack an out-and-out striker, hinting that Lukaku may be given a chance under Potter.
However, there have been no reports to suggest this is the case and it seems that another loan, or a permanent move, to Inter is the most likely outcome this summer.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported last month that Chelsea will only keep Lukaku as a ‘last resort’ with neither Potter or the club’s ownership ‘enthusiastic about his return’.
And now fellow Italian newspaper, Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), claim that the 29-year-old striker is not expected to be a Chelsea player next season.
The Blues hierarchy ‘no longer want Lukaku’ at the club, the report claims.
Furthermore, Todd Boehly and co. ‘consider his second adventure with the Blues short over’, with Potter’s woeful results as manager without a recognised striker not changing their stance.
The January transfer window saw Chelsea sign several young players and this appears to be the philosophy going forward and Lukaku’s age (30 in May) ‘has nothing to do with the project anymore’.
Remaining at Inter is not guaranteed, however, as the striker still needs to convince the Serie A giants that he is worth the money needed to keep hold of him.
The Nerazzurri paid an €8m loan fee to sign Lukaku last summer. On top of this, his wages are believed to be in the region of €8.5m per year.
Lukaku ‘wants to stay’ and there is an expectation that Inter will be able to agree a €5m loan fee with Chelsea this summer.
The 29-year-old may also accept a lower wage as he wants to stay with the Italian club ‘at all costs’.
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