Lukaku: I was in a deep hole at Man Utd

Romelu Lukaku says Inter Milan got him out of a “deep hole” at Manchester United and admits he was only ever going to leave the Serie A champions for Chelsea.

The Belgian striker made the move to Italy in 2019 after a tough final few months at Old Trafford where he fell out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


Saturday 11th September 5:00pm


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He rediscovered his goalscoring form at San Siro as his 64 goals in 95 appearances propelled Inter to a first Serie A title in 11 years and earned him a £97.5m move back to Stamford Bridge – which he admits was a head-turner.

“I was only going to leave Inter Milan for Chelsea,” Lukaku told HLN. “Kids love Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United. And Chelsea for me, everyone knows what Chelsea means to me.

“If they ask me, why would I say no? I only realised that Chelsea was serious at the third offer. So it was €100m (£85m), then it was €105m (£90m), and then it went to €110m (£94m). Then I knew, this is truly serious.

“I was in a deep hole at Man United. I didn’t want to go behind Inter’s back.

“So after training I went to [Inter boss Simone] Inzaghi’s office. I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere because I was no longer with my head in Milan. So I asked him: please find an agreement.”

AP: Romelu Lukaku
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Lukaku says he was in a “deep hole” in the final few months of his Old Trafford stay

Lukaku originally joined Chelsea in 2011 at just 18 years of age but after one season was shipped out on loan to West Brom and then Everton, where he secured a permanent move in 2014.

Having rejoined the club 10 years later, the 28-year-old has settled in quickly and scored on his second debut against Arsenal in August, and is adamant Thomas Tuchel’s style of play suits his game.

“The first two training sessions, that intensity was so high that the first two or three days I had a bit of a scare,” Lukaku said. “But two days before the match we had a training session where I scored two goals and I thought yes.

“The team is looking good, the coach is looking good, I love the system that we play because it’s the same system as here [with Belgium], only the emphasis is different. For me it’s fantastic because I play in a team that dominates.”

Euro round-up: Haaland scores late winner

Striker Erling Haaland fired a stoppage-time winner to give Borussia Dortmund a thrilling 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on Friday that lifted them to the top of the Bundesliga standings.

Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric hit the woodwork with a third-minute shot and his team-mate Oliver Baumann pulled off a great save to deny Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna as the game started at a frantic pace.

It was a sign of things to come as Dortmund withstood a barrage of crosses early in the second half before mounting an attack down the left that ended with Reyna firing home the opening goal with a bouncing shot to Baumann’s left.

Jude Bellingham celebrates his strike
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Jude Bellingham celebrates his strike

Hoffenheim kept up the pressure and drew level in the 61st minute when Dennis Geiger found Christoph Baumgartner with a great ball in behind the defence, and the winger drove his shot across the ‘keeper and into the net.

Undeterred, Dortmund went ahead again eight minutes later as Jude Bellingham controlled a loose clearance on his thigh just inside the box before lashing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 2-1.


Saturday 28th August 5:20pm


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Munas Dabbur thought he had snatched a point for Hoffenheim with a goal in the final minute of normal time, but Haaland smashed a loose ball into the top corner a minute later to send the home crowd into raptures.

Dortmund held on until the referee blew the final whistle in the 98th minute to go top the table on six points, ahead of Wolfsburg on goal difference, having played one more game.

Serie A: Correa shines on Inter debut

Substitute Joaquin Correa had a debut to remember as his late double earned Inter Milan a 3-1 win at Hellas Verona in Serie A on Friday.

Correa, who only completed his loan move to the Serie A champions from Lazio on Thursday, came off the bench to fire Inter 2-1 ahead seven minutes from time before adding a fine third in stoppage time to seal the win for his new side.

The visitors looked out of sorts in the first half and fell behind after Ivan Ilic capitalised on a poor pass from Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic before finishing well in the 15th minute.

Inter wasted no time in getting back into the contest after the break, with Lautaro Martinez heading his first goal of the season less than two minutes into the second half to level things up.

Simone Inzaghi’s side looked like they would have to settle for a point until Correa entered the fray, earning his side their second victory from two matches at the start of the new season with two brilliantly-taken goals.

Ligue 1: Dembele hands Lyon first win of new season

Lyon claimed their first win of the Ligue 1 season when Moussa Dembele’s first-half goal helped them to secure a 1-0 win at Nantes on Friday.

Dembele found the back of the net after some nice work in the area by Lucas Paqueta as Peter Bosz’s team moved up to sixth with five points after four games.

They finished with 10 men after Damien Da Silva was sent off 12 minutes from time but showed some defensive steel to grab all three points.

Nantes, who had chances before half-time, are 10th on four points.

Lyon went ahead on 35 minutes after Paqueta’s strike was parried by ‘keeper Alban Lafont into the way of Dembele, who poked the ball home to give the visitors a deserved advantage.

Jean-Charles Castelletto came close to equalising two minutes later but Anthony Lopes pulled off a brilliant save to maintain Lyon’s lead.

The Portuguese ‘keeper was at it again just before half-time when he tipped Sebastien Corchia’s free-kick over the bar.

Lyon controlled the second half although they had a scare in the closing stages after Da Silva picked up a second yellow card for elbowing Ludovic Blas.

Leaders Paris Saint-Germain travel to Reims on Sunday with new signing Lionel Messi expected to make his Ligue 1 debut.

La Liga: Valencia and Mallorca go top

Valencia had no problems beating Alaves 3-0 to win two straight home games at the start of the Spanish league season for the first time in seven years.

Daniel Wass scored three minutes into the match, and Carlos Soler and Gonalo Guedes added a goal each at Mestalla Stadium.

Elsewhere on Friday, Real Mallorca beat Espanyol 1-0 for its second win in a row, with Dani Rodrguez scoring the winner in the 27th minute after Espanyol’s defenders failed to clear the ball inside the area.

Friday’s win left Valencia top of the standings with seven points from three matches, along with Mallorca, ahead of the rest of this weekend’s games.

CL draw: Man City face PSG, champions Chelsea play Juventus

Pep Guardiola will be reunited with Lionel Messi – with whom he won two Champions League titles – after Manchester City were drawn to play Paris Saint-Germain in this season’s group stage.

The two clubs are joined in Group A by RB Leipzig and Belgian champions Club Brugge.

Chelsea – who beat Manchester City in last season’s final to lift their second Champions League trophy – will play Juventus, as well as Russian champions Zenit and Swedish champions Malmo.

N'Golo Kante is among a cohort of Chelsea players who shone in the Champions League last season
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Chelsea lifted the Champions League in May after a 1-0 win over Man City in Porto

Liverpool have been drawn into a tough Group B, where they will take on three-time runners-up Atletico Madrid, seven-time winners AC Milan and two-time winners Porto.

Manchester United face a rematch with Villarreal, who beat them on penalties in the final of last season’s Europa League. Also in Group F are Atalanta and Swiss champions Young Boys.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona – who have won 11 Champions Leagues between them – headline Group E. Barcelona will be competing in the competition without Messi for the first time in 17 years.

Also in Group E are Benfica and Ukrainian title-winners Dynamo Kiev.

Real Madrid – who have won the competition a record 13 times – will take on Italian champions Inter Milan, as well as Shakhtar Donetsk and Sheriff Tiraspol, who are the first Moldovan side to compete in the Champions League.

Group C contains Portuguese champions Sporting, Borussia Dortmund, four-time Champions League winners Ajax and Besiktas.

Emery kisses the Europa League trophy in Gdansk
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Villarreal beat Man Utd on penalties in the Europa League final in Gdansk last season

In Group G, French title winners Lille face Sevilla, Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg and Wolfsburg.

The group stage begins on September 14 and 15, with the final being held in St Petersburg on May 28.

Champions League group-stage draw

Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge

Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan

Group C: Sporting, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas

Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol

Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev

Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys

Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg, Wolfsburg

Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo

The Champions League final was last staged at Wembley back in 2013
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The final will be held in St Petersburg on May 28, 2022

When will the matches be played?

Matchday one: September 14/15

Matchday two: September 28/29

Matchday three: October 19/20

Matchday four: November 2/3

Matchday five: November 23/24

Matchday six: December 7/8

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Follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on the Sky Sports website and app, check out the latest done deals and watch the best analysis and reaction on Sky Sports News.

UEFA to honour medical team and Kjaer for saving Eriksen’s life

The medical team that saved Christian Eriksen’s life will be the recipients of the 2021 UEFA President’s Award along with Denmark captain Simon Kjaer.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin described the individuals as “the true heroes of Euro 2020” after rushing to Eriksen’s aid in Denmark’s opening group game against Finland.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field at Parken Stadium on June 12, but is now on the road to recovery after he was resuscitated on the pitch.

UEFA said the accolade is a “mark of homage for their vital contributions”, with Kjaer sharing the honour for his reaction in immediately helping Eriksen as well as for the “exceptional leadership qualities” he displayed.

Recipients of the 2021 UEFA President’s Award:

On-site medical team
Mogens Kreutzfeldt (chief medical officer)
Frederik Flensted (stadium medical manager)
Anders Boesen (pitchside emergency doctor)
Peder Ersgaard (paramedic)

UEFA Venue Medical Officers
Jens Kleinefeld
Valentin Velikov

Danish national medical team
Morten Skjoldager (physio accompanying the team doctor)
Morten Boesen (team doctor)
Simon Kjær (Denmark national team captain)

Eriksen, who returned to Inter for tests to determine whether his career can resume, said: “I would like to thank Morten [Skjoldager], Morten [Boesen] and the medical team who helped in Parken on 12 June. You did a fantastic job and saved my life.

“Also a big thanks to my friend and captain Simon and my teammates in the Danish team for your support, both on 12 June and afterwards.

“Thanks to all the fans who have sent messages to me and my family. It means a lot and has given us strength and support. Thank you.”

Ceferin added: “This year, the President’s Award transcends football. It serves as an important and eternal reminder of just how precious life is and puts everything in our lives into the clearest perspective.

“I would also like to send my very best wishes to Christian Eriksen and his family as he continues his recovery.”

Denmark's medical team attended to Christian Eriksen just before half time
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Denmark’s medical team attended to Christian Eriksen just before half-time

Eriksen was resuscitated through the use of the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) technique and a defibrillator before he was stretchered off and taken to hospital.

“We rushed to the field to help [Christian] and to do our job,” said Mogens Kreutzfeldt, chief medical officer for Euro 2020 in Copenhagen.

“We did what we should, what we were taught, what we were trained to do. Everybody knew their role, everybody knew what to do. We were not emotional at the scene. Afterwards, we were, of course, like everybody. We’re very happy and proud of the outcome.”

Denmark's players were visibly distressed after Eriksen collapsed at the Parken Stadium
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Denmark’s players formed a ring around Eriksen while he was being resuscitated

Kjaer put Eriksen in the recovery position, started the initial CPR procedure, and led the Danish players in forming a protective ring around their team-mate while he was being given urgent medical attention, before then comforting Eriksen’s partner.

Denmark then remarkably reached the semi-finals despite losing their opening two group games, and Kjaer said that moment in Copenhagen highlighted the team and nation’s togetherness.

Simon Kjaer
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Simon Kjaer is being honoured for his role in saving Eriksen’s life

“It’s something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” Kjaer said. “The team reacted as a unit, as a team, we made the maximum effort to stick together and try to get through that situation and be as helpful as possible.

“I try to lead the team on and off the pitch, in every aspect of life, as footballers, when we’re together. I think it’s one of the biggest privileges I have in my career.

“I’ve known Christian [Eriksen] for many years. He has a great family, he has a lot of friends, a lot of teammates that want the best for him. As long as he’s happy and his family is good, I’m happy.”

What is CPR and how did it save Eriksen’s life?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a medical technique which is given to someone who goes into cardiac arrest.

That occurs when the heart encounters an electrical issue and stops pumping blood around the body and to the brain, causing the person to fall out of consciousness and stop breathing.

Medics define this as ‘clinical death’, which is the onset of biological death, although CPR can help re-start the person’s heart functions and save their life.

By administering chest compressions and rescue breaths, the CPR performer helps to pump blood and oxygen around the person’s body, taking over the role of their heart and lungs.

How do you perform CPR?

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First aired in 2018, we explain how to perform CPR with David Ginola, Jamie Carragher and Monday Night Football presenter David Jones

Always seek professional help by calling 999 before starting CPR.

The NHS’s advice to carry out chest compressions is as follows:

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Position yourself with your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5 to 6cm (2 to 2.5 inches) on their chest.
  4. Keeping your hands on their chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
  5. Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until an ambulance arrives or you become exhausted.

The British Heart Foundation recommends that in an emergency situation it is better to try and perform CPR, even if unsure, rather than to not do anything at all.

Euro round-up: Depay nets first Barca goal in Bilbao draw

La Liga: Depay scores first Barca goal in draw

Memphis Depay scored his first goal for Barcelona to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao, while defender Eric Garcia was shown a straight red card in added time for a last-ditch foul.

Athletic defender Inigo Martinez had given the hosts a deserved lead in the 50th minute by heading home from a corner after his side had dominated the first half and seen a shot cleared off the line at the start of the second.

Barca struggled to cope with Athletic’s intensity but cashed in when their opponents took their foot off the gas and seemed content to defend their lead rather than look for a second goal.

Frenkie de Jong hit the crossbar with a sumptuous chip and moments later Depay levelled in the 75th minute with a thunderous strike from a tight angle, his shot flying beyond the reach of helpless Athletic keeper Julen Agirrezabala.

Garcia was then shown a straight red card on his second outing for Barca when he hauled down Athletic forward Nico Williams on the edge of the area, but the hosts failed to capitalise from the resulting free-kick.

Barca defender Gerard Pique also limped off in the first half for Ronald Koeman’s side.

Fernando Nino’s late goal gave Mallorca a 1-0 win at Alaves, who had defender Ruben Duarte sent off in the second half.

Carlos Soler’s late equaliser from the penalty spot grabbed Valencia a 1-1 draw at Granada, who had a stoppage-time goal from Angel Montoro ruled out for offside by VAR.

It finished 0-0 between Espanyol and Villarreal, a second goalless draw for Unai Emery’s side following their defeat on penalties to Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

Serie A: Inter off to winning start

Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring in Inter's win over Genoa
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Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring in Inter’s win over Genoa

Debutant striker Edin Dzeko was on target as Inter Milan got their Serie A title defence off to a flying start, thrashing Genoa 4-0 in their opening match of the season in front of fans in the San Siro on Saturday.

Hakan Calhanoglu, who crossed the divide to sign for Inter from city rivals AC Milan in the summer, took centre stage from the off, setting up Milan Skriniar for his side’s sixth-minute opener, before drilling home a second eight minutes later.

The visitors had a great chance to get back in the contest just before the interval, but Yayah Kallon dragged his effort wide from a good position.

That miss proved costly as Inter, who had two strikes ruled out for offside, the second of which was another fine finish from Calhanoglu, added a third in the 74th minute through substitute Arturo Vidal to make sure of the three points.

To complete the perfect afternoon for Inter, on his 200th Serie A appearance, veteran forward Dzeko, who joined from Roma this summer, headed home a late fourth.

Maurizio Sarri also got off to a winning start at Lazio, but the visitors had to bounce back from an early scare to win 3-1 at newly-promoted Empoli.

The home side took a surprise lead in the fourth minute when Filippo Bandinelli scored, but Sergej Milinkovic-Savic headed in the equaliser just two minutes later.

Empoli threatened to restore their advantage but Bandinelli’s strike came off the post. Instead, it was Lazio who took the lead in the 31st minute when Manuel Lazzari played a one-two with Milinkovic-Savic before placing an angled drive into the bottom left corner.

Lazio extended their lead 10 minutes later as Ciro Immobile converted a penalty after Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario clattered into Francesco Acerbi.

Atalanta also best Torino 2-1. Luis Muriel scored in the sixth minute but Torino looked to have earned a well-deserved point when Andrea Belotti’s effort was deflected in with 11 minutes remaining.

However, substitute Roberto Piccoli, who had only come off the bench in the 83rd minute, snatched a late winner in stoppage time.

Bundesliga: Dortmund beaten by Freiburg

Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with teammates
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Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal

Freiburg rose to second in the Bundesliga table on Saturday thanks to a gritty 2-1 win over a Borussia Dortmund side who dominated possession but failed to convert their chances.

Vincenzo Grifo rocked the visitors early, putting Freiburg ahead with a stunning free-kick in the sixth minute. Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham came closest to an equaliser in the first half, hitting the post with a header from a corner.

Despite Dortmund keeping possession for long spells, they found themselves two down eight minutes into the second half when Roland Sallai slammed the ball home from close range.

Dortmund were thrown a lifeline when midfielder Yannik Keitel steered a low cross past his own keeper in the 59th minute. But the Freiburg rearguard stood firm to repel Erling Haaland and company as they hung on to win.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg went top of the standings by coming back from a goal down to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1, with Lukas Nmecha getting the winner in the 88th minute.

Bochum forward Simon Zoller set up a goal in each half as his side beat Mainz 2-0, and Greuther Furth came back from a goal down to grab a point against 10-man Arminia Bielefeld, while Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg played out a scoreless draw.

Ligue 1: Lille held by St Etienne

St Etienne defender Saidou Sow scored late on to deny defending champion Lille their first win of the season in a 1-1 draw.

The 19-year-old Sow headed home from a corner in the 84th minute after Burak Yilmaz had put Lille in front in the first half. Saturday’s draw leaves Lille seven points behind Paris Saint-Germain after just three rounds.

Monaco’s poor league start also continued with a 2-0 loss at home to Lens, another team that had been looking for its first win.

Ignatius Ganago and Simon Banza scored in the second half for Lens, with Monaco goalkeeper Alexander Nbel at fault for the opener in the 51st minute.

Ganago easily got past Monaco defender Strahinja Pavlovic and then fired straight at Nbel from a narrow angle. But the German goalkeeper, who is on loan from Bayern Munich, failed to hold onto Ganago’s shot as it squirmed past and inside the near post.

Lens had Cheick Doucour sent off for a bad challenge on Krpin Diatta on the hour mark, but Monaco’s Aleksandr Golovin followed him off in the 85th minute for his tackle on Banza.

Euro round-up: Dortmund beaten, Inter hit four

Serie A: Inter off to winning start

Debutant striker Edin Dzeko was on target as Inter Milan got their Serie A title defence off to a flying start, thrashing Genoa 4-0 in their opening match of the season in front of fans in the San Siro on Saturday.

Hakan Calhanoglu, who crossed the divide to sign for Inter from city rivals AC Milan in the summer, took centre stage from the off, setting up Milan Skriniar for his side’s sixth-minute opener, before drilling home a second eight minutes later.

The visitors had a great chance to get back in the contest just before the interval, but Yayah Kallon dragged his effort wide from a good position.

That miss proved costly as Inter, who had two strikes ruled out for offside, the second of which was another fine finish from Calhanoglu, added a third in the 74th minute through substitute Arturo Vidal to make sure of the three points.

To complete the perfect afternoon for Inter, on his 200th Serie A appearance, veteran forward Dzeko, who joined from Roma this summer, headed home a late fourth.

Bundesliga: Dortmund beaten by Freiburg

Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with teammates
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Vincenzo Grifo of Freiburg celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal

Freiburg rose to second in the Bundesliga table on Saturday thanks to a gritty 2-1 win over a Borussia Dortmund side who dominated possession but failed to convert their chances.

Vincenzo Grifo rocked the visitors early, putting Freiburg ahead with a stunning free-kick in the sixth minute. Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham came closest to an equaliser in the first half, hitting the post with a header from a corner.

Despite Dortmund keeping possession for long spells, they found themselves two down eight minutes into the second half when Roland Sallai slammed the ball home from close range.

Dortmund were thrown a lifeline when midfielder Yannik Keitel steered a low cross past his own keeper in the 59th minute. But the Freiburg rearguard stood firm to repel Erling Haaland and company as they hung on to win.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg went top of the standings by coming back from a goal down to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1, with Lukas Nmecha getting the winner in the 88th minute.

Bochum forward Simon Zoller set up a goal in each half as his side beat Mainz 2-0, and Greuther Furth came back from a goal down to grab a point against 10-man Arminia Bielefeld, while Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg played out a scoreless draw.

Lukaku: Chelsea return was ‘chance of a lifetime’

Romelu Lukaku has written an open letter to Inter Milan fans, thanking them for their support during his two years at the club but insisting he could not turn down the “chance of a lifetime” to rejoin Chelsea.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea this week in a club-record £97.5m transfer, 10 years after he first signed for the club as a teenager from Anderlecht.

The striker struggled to make an impression during his first spell – failing to score in 15 appearances – and moved to Everton in 2014 before joining Inter, via Manchester United.

Lukaku enjoyed two outstanding years at Inter and scored 24 goals in Serie A last season to help them to their first Italian title in 11 years, after which he insisted he would remain at San Siro for the 2021/22 campaign.

However, Lukaku changed his mind and asked Inter to arrange to sell him to Chelsea after it became clear the club wanted to make his return a reality.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Inter originally insisted the 28-year-old was not for sale but ultimately agreed to his departure amid pressure to raise funds this summer.

Addressing the club’s supporters for the first time since leaving, Lukaku wrote on Twitter: “Dear Inter fans. Thank you… Thank you for making me and my family feel at home in Milano.

“Thank you for the unconditional support and love on a daily basis. Thank you for motivating me even more after the first season.

“When I came to Inter I immediately felt that I would do well for this club. The love and reception I first received at Malpensa airport was the start of a beautiful story.

“I made it my mission to never let you down every time I wore the Inter shirt. I gave 100 per cent in every training session and every game so that I could make you proud.

“Our first season ended in the toughest possible way but you guys gave me the strength to continue to keep pushing and we did as a team. That’s why we became champions together.

“I hope you guys understand my decision to move on to Chelsea. It’s the chance of lifetime for me and I think at this time of my career it is a chance that I always dreamed of.

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Thomas Tuchel believes Romelu Lukaku has the perfect qualities, physique and personality to be a success at Chelsea after rejoining the club from Inter Milan

“One thing is for sure and that is that I will always remain an ‘interista’ because without you I wouldn’t be the player or man I am today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Lukaku – who grew up a Chelsea supporter – is understood to feel he has a point to prove at Stamford Bridge following his underwhelming first spell.

Chelsea also held an interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Tottenham’s Harry Kane this summer, but opted for Lukaku to try to solve the issues that saw seven other sides score more Premier League goals than them last season.

Lukaku can fire Chelsea into Premier League title race

Chelsea are Champions League holders. Boss Thomas Tuchel has had a transformative impact on their style and defensive solidity since joining in January. They showed a steely mentality under the German to edge tight matches in both that run to European glory and to grab a top-four finish in last season’s Premier League.

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Thomas Tuchel is confident Chelsea can build on their exciting Super Cup triumph and feels the arrival of Romelu Lukaku will help the team progress

With real strength in depth to call upon, all the signs are pointing towards a genuine title challenge in 2021/22.

The signing of Romelu Lukaku will surely make that a reality.

Lukaku – 10 years after he first joined Chelsea from Anderlecht – is every inch the world-class finisher they need to get their hands back on the Premier League trophy.

Since failing to impress at Stamford Bridge first time around, the Belgian has been nothing but prolific. He scored 87 goals in 166 games for Everton, and after a last-minute move to Manchester United when a Chelsea return seemed on the cards in 2017, he scored 42 times in 96 appearances for the Old Trafford club.

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You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.

Lukaku arrives in London to complete Chelsea move

Romelu Lukaku has arrived in London to complete his £97.5m (€115m) transfer to Chelsea from Inter Milan.

The 28-year-old landed in Biggin Hill Airport on Wednesday evening after a stop in Monte Carlo.

He underwent the first part of his medical in Milan after Chelsea agreed in principle a club-record deal to re-sign the striker.

The paperwork is now with club lawyers, and once that is formalised, Lukaku is expected to sign a five-year contract, worth £200,000 a week.

Inter have previously rejected two offers from Chelsea for the Belgium international, the second of which was worth £85m (€100m) plus left-back Marcos Alonso.

Meanwhile, Roma have agreed a £34m deal to sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea, according to Sky in Italy.

The 23-year-old striker must now decide if he wants to join the Italian club, who are managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

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As he prepares to return to Chelsea, we take a look back at some of Lukaku’s best Premier League goals

Arsenal are also interested in Abraham, but Chelsea’s preference is to sell him to a foreign club, making a move to their London rivals less likely.

Lukaku left Chelsea in 2014 after making just 15 appearances there following his arrival at Stamford Bridge from Anderlecht in 2011.

One of the most prolific strikers in Europe, Lukaku scored 87 goals in 166 games for Everton between 2014 and 2017 and found the net 42 times in 96 appearances during his two years at Manchester United before signing for Inter in 2019.

He scored 24 goals in Serie A last season, helping Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years as the club put an end to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian top-flight champions.

Chelsea will be keen to conclude the deal before 11pm on Tuesday so the player can be registered by UEFA to be considered for the Super Cup against Villarreal on Wednesday.

When the deal is completed, it will make Lukaku the most expensive player in history in terms of combined transfer fees, standing at a staggering £308.5m – over £30m more than Neymar in second (£271.7m).

AP - Romelu Lukaku, Belgium
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Lukaku scored four goals for Belgium at Euro 2020 as his country reached the quarter-finals

Tuchel: Lukaku the profile we’re looking for

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says they need a striker of Romelu Lukaku’s profile after letting Olivier Giroud join AC Milan.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel was reluctant to admit a deal for Lukaku was close, but did stress the No 9 role is an area the club are looking to strengthen after Olivier Giroud left the club to join AC Milan.

“We lost Olivier Giroud who played a crucial role in the club,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “He was the kind of profile who likes to play with his back to goal, who likes to hold up balls, who creates space for Werner, Havertz, Pulisic; who is ready to fight physically with defenders.

Olivier Giroud was an unused substitute as Chelsea won the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel in May
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Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea are looking for a No. 9 after Olivier Giroud left the club

“This is the kind of profile that we don’t have in our squad right now and that we are looking for. It’s still not the moment to talk about names because we have nobody signed yet and we will show all the respect to other clubs.

“Romelu is one of the guys like Haaland at Dortmund, Lewandowski at Bayern, Harry Kane at Tottenham, who is a real No 9 who loves to score and who has a presence in the box. That is not a secret. The sentence [Tuchel describing Lukaku as a ‘fantastic player’] is easy to repeat for any coach in the world.

“But [his] is the kind of profile we’re looking for and if it is possible to convince agents and clubs, we will do our best.”

Tuchel also stressed the need to improve after “big signings” elsewhere in the form of Jack Grealish to Manchester City and Jadon Sancho to Manchester United.

“They are big signings and we are also trying to improve the squad; at the same time we give all our energy to the guys that we have – it’s our goal to improve the group we have,” Tuchel added.

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Kaveh Solhekol believes Chelsea have ‘got the answer to their problems’ in Lukaku as the Belgium striker prepares to return to Stamford Bridge

Chelsea’s lost stars

The imminent return of Romelu Lukaku to Stamford Bridge highlights the wealth of talent that Chelsea have allowed to leave the club in the last decade.

Chelsea sold Lukaku for £28m to Everton in 2014 and are now buying him back from Inter Milan for £97.5m – a £69.5m loss.

Here are some of the other stars that also failed to make the grade at Chelsea, but have gone on to have stellar careers elsewhere.

Mohamed Salah

Mo Salah at Chelsea

Chelsea sold Salah to Roma for £12m in August 2016. Liverpool bought him 10 months later for £34m. In the current market, despite being 29 years old, his value would certainly be in excess of £100m.

Kevin De Bruyne

Only made three Premier League appearances for Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. He was sold to Wolfsburg for £18m in January 2014, and moved to Manchester City for £55m, 18 months later. Current market value is well in excess of £120m – not that City would consider selling him.

Declan Rice

Released by Chelsea as a 14-year old after seven years at the club. Heavily linked with a return to Stamford Bridge, but reports suggest it would take more than £70m for West Ham to be interested in selling.

Nathan Ake

Nathan Ake at Chelsea

Chelsea made £20m when they sold Ake to Bournemouth in June 2017. That seemed good business at the time, though three years later, Manchester City paid £41m for him.

Thorgan Hazard

Eden’s younger brother made just one appearance for Chelsea’s U21s before being shipped out on loan to Zulte Waregem. Borussia Monchengladbach paid Chelsea a nominal fee for his services, before Borussia Dortmund shelled out £30m for the attacking midfielder in the summer of 2019.

Nemanja Matic

Chelsea paid £21m to sign him back from Benfica in January 2014, two-and-a-half years after sanctioning his sale for £4.5m. They would go on to make a profit on the midfielder when they sold him to Manchester United for £40m in 2017.

The evolution of Lukaku explained

Thomas Tuchel has a new striker as Chelsea bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge
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Tuchel has a new striker as Chelsea bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge

His Belgium national team coach Roberto Martinez was among those to suggest there has been an evolution in Romelu Lukaku’s game and one statistic highlights it best. Nobody in Italy provided more assists from open play than Lukaku did for Inter last season.

It is a statistic still viewed with scepticism by some and it is true that Lukaku’s tally of 11 included a number of straightforward square passes and lay-offs. But other goals highlight the awareness, intelligence, vision and touch that carried Inter to the title.

It is a level of performance that has persuaded Chelsea to bring him back to Stamford Bridge one decade on from signing his first contract at the club. Lukaku, 28, returns at the peak of his powers, never better prepared to make a big impact on the Premier League.

Here, Sky Sports’ Adam Bate looks at Lukaku’s evolution at Inter Milan…

Inter fans protest against owners – “Zhang, the time is over”

Romelu Lukaku celebrates his side's 3-0 win (AP)
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Lukaku is on his way back to Stamford Bridge – 10 years after first signing for Chelsea

Inter must decrease their wage bill this summer and title-winning manager Antonio Conte left the club in May amid concerns about plans to reduce his budget.

Lukaku was not involved as Inter won 2-0 in a friendly away at Parma on Sunday evening – a match that witnessed prolonged protests against the club’s Chinese owners over the planned sale and general cost-cutting strategy.

President Steven Zhang was the target of most of the anger with banners at the game saying “Zhang, the time is over” and “Zhang, if you want to save Inter you have to leave”.

Chelsea are eager to sign a world-class centre-forward during the transfer window and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund is another target the Blues have been interested in.

Meanwhile, with Lukaku set to depart the San Siro, Inter Milan are in talks to sign Roma forward Edin Dzeko and are offering the Bosnia and Herzegovina international a two-year deal.

Inter want to sign two forwards to replace Lukaku and one of their other targets is Atalanta’s Colombia international Duvan Zapata.

If Atalanta sell Zapata, they will try to sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.

Chelsea re-sign Lukaku from Inter for club-record £97.5m

Chelsea have re-signed striker Romelu Lukaku for a club-record £97.5m from Inter Milan.

Lukaku, who initially moved to Stamford Bridge as a 17-year-old from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2011, returns to Chelsea on a five-year deal that sees him become the highest-paid player at the club, earning £200,000 per week after tax.

The fee for Belgium’s record goalscorer surpasses the £75.8m paid for Kai Havertz last summer.

“I’m happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club,” Lukaku told the club’s website. “It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.

“The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.

“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together.

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Take a look back at some of Lukaku’s best Premier League goals

“Since I left Chelsea, it’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but these experiences made me strong and the challenge is to try to help the team win some more trophies. I can’t wait to get started and to help the club achieve more success.”

After leaving Chelsea in 2014, Lukaku became one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, scoring 87 goals in 166 games for Everton between 2014 and 2017, and 42 goals in 96 appearances during his two years at Manchester United before signing for Inter in 2019.

The 28-year-old scored 24 goals in Serie A last season, helping Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years as the club put an end to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian top-flight champions.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Romelu Lukaku is quite simply one of the world’s best strikers and goalscorers. We are absolutely delighted to be bringing him back to the club he loves, and are excited to be adding his talent to our Champions League-winning squad.

“We are of course looking to build on last season’s success, and Lukaku will play a big role in achieving our targets.”

Chelsea, who were also interested in signing Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, have been in the market to sign a striker following the sale of Olivier Giroud to AC Milan.

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Football Daily’s Zac Djellab says Chelsea have needed a clinical striker and that Lukaku fits the bill

Lukaku asked Inter to agree a transfer with Chelsea, despite publicly saying he would be staying in Milan before Euro 2020.

Inter had initially regarded Lukaku as untouchable this summer, but altered their stance amid pressure to reduce their wage bill.

The lack of available funds at the Italian club saw Antonio Conte walk away from Inter in May. He was replaced with Simone Inzaghi.

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Former Chelsea midfielder Boudewijn Zenden says Lukaku’s arrival improves their chances of winning the Premier League ‘massively’

Lukaku feels he has a point to prove at Stamford Bridge having failed to score a goal in 15 appearances during his first spell with the club.

His strained relationship with then-Chelsea head coach Andre Villas-Boas made life difficult for him and he did not get a real opportunity, while Jose Mourinho – in his second spell as Blues boss – sanctioned his sale to Everton, citing the difficulty of promising Lukaku a first-choice striking role.

This time around Lukaku has a Chelsea boss who fully believes in him, with Tuchel, who reckons the Belgian is one of the most complete forwards in world football, having personally asked the club to sign him.

‘A fantastic move on every level’

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez hailed the transfer as a “fantastic” move for Lukaku.

Having made his senior international debut as a 16-year-old in 2010, Lukaku has gone on to score 64 goals in 98 appearances for Belgium, helping them to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup.

“This is a fantastic move at every level,” Martinez said. “Romelu knows the Premier League inside out.

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Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez says Lukaku’s move to Chelsea from Inter Milan is ‘fantastic’

“He’s had an incredible two seasons. Not many people from the British game have had that level of impact that he had into a very important project. Inter Milan was a team built to try and win Serie A. That’s not easy, with Juventus winning nine titles consecutively, you can see the task.

“Romelu Lukaku became that focal player that a new project is built on. Very consistent, he became a leader on the pitch, and I think that degree of maturity is very evident in his game.

“Chelsea are taking Romelu Lukaku, a player that they know well because he signed for that club 10 years ago, but this is a very, very different player now. Probably at the best moment of his career.”

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.

Eriksen sends video message to nine-year-old girl ahead of heart op

Christian Eriksen has recorded a touching video message to reassure a nine-year-old girl who is due to undergo the same operation he had after collapsing while playing at Euro 2020.

The Inter Milan midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s opening game of the tournament against Finland and received life-saving treatment on the pitch.

He later had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) device implanted, a type of pacemaker that can prevent fatal cardiac arrests by discharging a jolt to restore a regular heart rhythm.

The 29-year-old received a letter from Evie before she was due to have an ICD fitted at Great Ormond Street hospital in London.

His response was shared by her mother Nicci Martin on Facebook after a campaign through the platform to reach Eriksen for support after hearing about his operation.

“Thanks for the lovely letter, I just read it through tonight,” Eriksen said in the video message.

“I hope you are feeling comfortable and confident going into the operation. It is never fun to be in hospital but I am sure the doctors know what they are doing and they will help you and tell you what they know and they think.

“I am sure you will get back to normal life very quickly afterwards – I know I did. I am sure it will be the same with you.”

Martin said on Facebook her daughter – who “has a huge phobia of needles, cannulas and blood” – was a fan of Eriksen’s former club Tottenham and was a keen football player herself.

She said no date had yet been set for the operation after a postponement.

Eriksen returned to the Inter training ground for the first time since his collapse last week, when a club statement said he was “in excellent physical and mental shape”.

His playing career remains unclear though, as he will not be allowed to play in Italy unless the ICD device is removed.