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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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
Image:
Lukaku scored four goals for Belgium at Euro 2020 as his country reached the quarter-finals

Tuchel: Lukaku the profile we’re looking for

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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
Image:
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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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
Image:
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)
Image:
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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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.

Inter Milan interested in Everton’s Kean

Inter Milan could make a move for Everton striker Moise Kean this summer, according to Sky in Italy.

Kean has not settled on Merseyside after joining Everton from Juventus for around £27m in 2019, with the forward going on loan to PSG last season where he scored 13 goals in 26 appearances.

It was expected the 21-year-old Italy international would join the French club on a permanent deal this summer.

However, that is now less likely following the arrival of Lionel Messi at the Parc des Princes.

According to Sky in Italy, Keane’s agent Mino Raiola discussed 21-year-old while conducting talks with Inter Milan over a potential move for PSV Eindhoven right-back Denzel Dumfries.

Inter are still on the search for a replacement for Achraf Hakimi, who signed for PSG earlier this summer.

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.

Man Utd will not allow Martial to leave this summer

Manchester United have no intention of selling forward Anthony Martial during this summer’s transfer window.

The 25-year-old had been linked with a move to Inter Milan but is believed to be part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans for the new season.

Martial made 48 appearances for United last season, scoring 23 goals as they finished second in the Premier League and reached the Europa League final.

Saturday’s 4-0 friendly win against Everton marked the France international’s first minutes since sustaining a knee injury in March while on international duty with France.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jadon Sancho took part in his first Manchester United training session on Monday

United bolstered their attacking options with the £73m signing of England international Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

However, with Marcus Rashford facing up to 12 weeks out following shoulder surgery and Jesse Lingard also sidelined after testing positive for Covid-19, Solskjaer will not allow Martial to leave this summer.

Martial swapped Monaco for Manchester in 2015 and has scored 78 goals in 258 appearances for United, with his current deal running until 2024, with the option of a further year.

Manchester United begin their 2021/22 Premier League season at home to Leeds on Saturday.

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.

Lukaku flying to London to complete Chelsea move

Romelu Lukaku is flying to London to complete his £97.5m (€115m) transfer to Chelsea from Inter Milan.

The 28-year-old underwent the first part of his medical in Milan after the Italian champions 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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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

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.

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
Image:
Lukaku scored four goals for Belgium at Euro 2020 as his country reached the quarter-finals

Tuchel: Lukaku the profile we’re looking for

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
Image:
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.

The evolution of Lukaku explained

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

‘Lukaku deal almost done’

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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

Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol on The Transfer Show:

“We are very close, this is almost done. Lukaku is having his medical in Milan today, the first part of that is already over… As soon as the medical is done, he will be coming to London. It could be today, tomorrow, or the day after, but in reality, he is a Chelsea player.

“It is a fantastic move for him, 10 years after he signed for Chelsea. Last time around, it didn’t work out. He was supposed to be the new Didier Drogba, he struggled and he was sold to Everton. But he’s coming back a much better player, a more complete player.

“He is exactly what Chelsea need – a No 9. Thomas Tuchel said to the Chelsea board ‘get me a No 9, I want Lukaku, Haaland, or Kane’, and they’ve got Lukaku. They’ve had to pay a premium to get him and he is 28 – how much resale value is he going to have? I think he will still have some resale value if he was to leave Chelsea.

“But if he reproduces the form he has shown in Italy in the last two seasons, then Chelsea have got the answer to their problems because Lukaku will score 20 or 30 goals every season.

“This is the textbook example of how to make a transfer happen. You have to take your hats off to his advisors, his agents, because everything has been done properly. It has been done privately and behind the scenes, there has been no strikes and Lukaku has been very professional – he’s always said the right things and it’s going to be a good deal for Inter Milan.”

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

Romelu Lukaku celebrates his side's 3-0 win (AP)
Image:
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 agree club-record £97.5m Lukaku deal

Chelsea have agreed in principle a club-record deal worth £97.5m (€115m) to re-sign striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan.

The paperwork is now with club lawyers and once that is formalised, Lukaku will undergo a medical and sign a five-year contract.

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.

Lukaku, 28, left Chelsea in 2014 after making just 15 appearances there following his arrival at Stamford Bridge from Anderlecht in 2011.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

With reports of a possible return to Chelsea, we take a look at some of Lukaku’s best Premier League goals

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.

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

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.

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.

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 hold positive talks over Lukaku deal

Chelsea have held more constructive talks in their attempt to re-sign Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku and there is real hope this can lead to an agreement between all parties.

Chelsea have yet to increase their second offer to Inter for the Belgium international – which was £85m (€100m) plus left-back Marcos Alonso – but there is a growing confidence a deal can be agreed.

Inter are expected to agree to sell Lukaku if the reigning European champions offer a deal worth £102m (€120m).

Sky Sports News reported on Wednesday Lukaku has told Inter he would like them to accept a suitable offer for him from his former club.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

With reports of a possible return to Chelsea, we take a look at some of Romelu Lukaku’s best Premier League goals

Premier League rivals Manchester City had also registered their interest in signing the 28-year-old earlier this year, but no offer was made as Inter showed no intention of selling at the time.

Tuchel: Lukaku a fantastic player

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to be drawn into questions surrounding interest in Romelu Lukaku but did admit they are looking for a striker with a similar profile to Olivier Giroud who has left the club this summer

Speaking after his side’s pre-season friendly against Tottenham on Wednesday evening, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to directly address the transfer situation but described Lukaku as a “fantastic player”.

“I will not talk about players who don’t play in my squad,” Tuchel said. “And Romelu Lukaku is a fantastic player but he’s a player from Inter and it’s with all the respect I will not talk about him in this situation.

Asked about Lukaku having expressed his desire to return to Stamford Bridge, Tuchel added: “Everybody wants to come [to Chelsea] hopefully. Not everybody unfortunately, but you can imagine that a lot of players want to come and join.

GRAPHIC

“The board is not offering players. That’s not the way it works so far. We’re talking with the board about players and if our opinions and the scouts conclude, then we target players who, in all our opinion, could make our squad stronger, which is quite a challenge to find.

“We don’t only talk about talent but also attitude because we have a strong squad and there are some players of which we think they could be a good target and good add-ons and good improvement in our squad.”

Lukaku played a key role in Inter’s Serie A win last season, scoring 24 goals.

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

Chelsea are determined to sign a world-class striker and their other main target this summer has been Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

Lukaku previously spent three years at Chelsea after signing from Anderlecht as a teenager in 2011.

However, he made only 15 appearances for the club – failing to score a goal – before moving to Everton for £28m in July 2014.

He was close to a return in July 2017 but opted to join Manchester United for £75m. Inter signed him from United for £73m two years ago.

What does Lukaku deal mean for Haaland?

Erling Haaland
Image:
Erling Haaland has been a summer transfer target for Chelsea

Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:

“It’s a very good question as Chelsea were very interested in Haaland. Who knows, they could still be interested. Could you see a situation where they could try to break the bank by bringing in Haaland and Romelu Lukaku? That seems unlikely.

“This could drag on into next summer. Borussia Dortmund have said there’s no gentleman’s agreement with Haaland as there was with Jadon Sancho. All of the noises coming out of Germany are saying Dortmund won’t sell both those players in the same transfer window.

“Haaland has a release clause that kicks in next summer. With Man City in for Harry Kane and Chelsea in for Lukaku, where does that leave those two clubs with regards to Haaland? Maybe they both feel they could pair those players with Haaland but next summer there will be more clubs who could afford him.”

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.

New series: Football’s Cult Heroes

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Football’s Cult Heroes is a new podcast series exploring the stories of players that carried their clubs on their backs – on and off the pitch. Follow on Spotify

Football’s Cult Heroes is a brand new podcast series exploring the stories of the players that carried their clubs on their backs – on and off the pitch.

Told by the players, fans and journalists that were there – we delve into why these players created such a strong bond with their fans and how they are still remembered years on.

Follow on Spotify so you can listen to the weekly episodes as soon as they drop.

Transfer Talk: Kane misjudgement, Lukaku U-turn, Grealish pressure

In the latest edition of the Transfer Talk podcast, the team discuss whether Harry Kane has gone a step too far, the pressure on Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku’s U-turn.

In a crazy week of transfer news, with Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona, Kane failing to show up for pre-season training at Tottenham and Grealish breaking the British transfer record, what better time for the Transfer Talk podcast to return for the summer as Dharmesh Sheth, Pete Graves and special guest Julien Laurens discuss all the latest from the world of player movements.

Has Kane gone one step too far?

Kane made clear – to Tottenham and through the media – his desire to leave Tottenham at the back end of last season when it became clear there was no hope of his side returning to the Champions League, but the Spurs talisman has never before downed tools.

That all changed this week when the England captain failed to show up for training on Monday or Tuesday, leaving new manager Nuno Espirito Santo to admit he had still not spoken to his star striker. Kane himself released a statement on Friday claiming it had always been the arrangement that he would return to training at the weekend instead, but has the fans’ favourite left himself in danger of ending on a sour note whatever happens now?

“The feeling towards Kane might just be going the other way,” Sheth told the podcast. “I don’t think the majority of Tottenham fans at the back end of last season would begrudge him going to another club to play Champions League football, at his stage of his career, 28 years old, he’s got three or four years tops at the highest level.

“But now, I just wonder if some Tottenham fans will be very, very disappointed, very, very angry at how Harry Kane has behaved, and the anger before was almost all towards the Tottenham board, and towards Daniel Levy, people were saying it’s little wonder Kane wants to go because you guys haven’t done enough to build something around him.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol says Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy does not want to sell Harry Kane to a Premier League rival.

“He signed a contract in 2018, and what he signed up to was good recruitment, challenging for the title. He signed that under Mauricio Pochettino. He’s come and gone, Jose Mourinho has come and gone, he’s played under Ryan Mason, he’s got another manager now in Nuno Espirito Santo who he hasn’t even spoken to yet.

“What he signed up to has not come to fruition and I think Tottenham fans would understand that’s a reason why Kane would want to go. But I don’t think they can understand fully the way he is going about it, because to not turn up the training is one thing they’re saying ‘look, you can kick up a fuss within the four walls of Tottenham, go to Daniel Levy, say I’m not happy, we had the so-called gentlemen’s agreement which Tottenham are disputing, but don’t do it like this’.

“The Sun reports he’s still on holiday. He’s not going to be playing in that opening game of the season as much as we’d like to see it, whether that be in a blue shirt or a white shirt. So, it is a big, big mess and this is not going to be an easy deal to do either.

“And if Manchester City, having spent £100m on Jack Grealish decide we can’t go £125m or £150m because we can’t offload some of the players to fund that deal. What is going to happen to Harry Kane? How does he reintegrate himself into the Tottenham squad? What will the fans think about him?”

Are Inter orchestrating Lukaku ‘U-turn’?

Romelu Lukaku fired Inter Milan to the Serie A title this season
Image:
Romelu Lukaku fired Inter Milan to the Serie A title this season

It was not long ago Lukaku was publicly more than satisfied with life at Inter Milan, on the back of their first Serie A title for more than a decade and heading into the season in fine form after a strong Euros with Belgium.

But just like with Kane, things changed this week. The story turned from Inter refusing to lose their top goalscorer, and turning down two bids from Chelsea, into one of Lukaku asking them to accept the Blues’ next offer to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.

Inter have publicly made clear they do not want to sell Lukaku, so is there more to the story than meets the eye about his apparent change of heart?

“As recently as a month ago, he was talking about how happy he was,” Sheth told the podcast. “He even did a Q&A on Twitter where people were asking him what his next club would be, he was saying ‘it doesn’t impact me, I’m happy at Inter’.

“He was saying all of the right things but this is against the backdrop of real financial difficulties in Italian football, in general, and Inter Milan in particular. They’ve had to get Achraf Hakimi off the books, they’ve got money for him, and it’s thought that one of Romelu Lukaku or Lautaro Martinez would have to be sold as well – but it was thought that it wouldn’t be Lukaku.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

With reports of a possible return to Chelsea, we take a look at some of Romelu Lukaku’s best Premier League goals.

“But now, when a club is starting to come in with bids in excess of £100m, I think Inter Milan have suddenly got to look at it and say, look, as much as we want to keep him, there’s a situation here where we can’t refuse. Inter Milan have got to be careful here, because they’ve made certain promises to their fans that Romelu Lukaku would not be sold.

“I think they’re trying to paint it out as the player saying If a suitable offer comes in, I would like to talk to Chelsea, I would potentially like to move to Chelsea. I think, Inter Milan are trying to get the heat off themselves so they keep the backlash from the fans, but if they do get £100m to £120m they will not be able to say no.”

Uncharted territory for Villa talisman Grealish

There is little question the club Grealish has joined in Manchester City is poles apart from the one he has left in Aston Villa, where he was both the club captain and their chief source of creativity.

At the Etihad, the 25-year-old will have to bend to his team’s needs, rather than the other way around, and will be under scrutiny he has never faced with Champions League football to come, and an inevitable title race.

Julien Laurens told the podcast there was no guarantee as yet how Grealish would stand up to those demands, having never played European football in his career before, despite being made Britain’s first £100m player by Pep Guardiola this week.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says new signing Jack Grealish is an ‘incredible talent’ after joining from Aston Villa in a British transfer record £100m deal.

“It’s all great for Jack Grealish, with huge wages and a great contract for him,” he said. “Now is really where the hard work starts because this is a very different Jack Grealish that we have to see at City.

“At Villa, everything was built around him, everything, everything was made for him. The idea was to get the ball as quick as possible to Grealsih on the left wing. Now at City, not only will he have to share the ball, but also Guardiola’s style of play is completely different. This is a possession team, who do things a certain way; everybody has is area.

“It’s not the same freedom, or the same mentality. It’s not the same game at all to what he is used to – get the ball to Jack and he’s going to work his magic. So the most fascinating thing for me is to see how he adapts, how well he does, in this new environment where things are different to anything he has had before.

“The pressure [in the Champions League] is completely different than anything he’s had at Aston Villa. It’s a different sort of pressure because we don’t know if he can do well in a Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich. When you play in Munich in the Allianz Arena with 60,000 fans, and you’re under pressure, if you make a little mistake that can cost you qualification for the final, we’ve never seen him in that kind of environment.

“I’m sure he’s very excited to be able to play those games and there will be many in his time at City, but this is all new to him. None of us can say, ‘oh yeah, he’s going to be great in those games’ because we’ve never seen him in them, so it’s a big challenge, really. He said it was too good to turn down to work with Pep and I completely get it.”

Chelsea and Inter locked in Lukaku transfer talks

Chelsea and Inter Milan were locked in talks on Friday as they tried to agree a transfer deal for Romelu Lukaku.

The negotiations are expected to lead to Chelsea making an improved third bid for the Belgium striker.

Chelsea’s second bid of £85m plus Marcos Alonso was rejected by Inter on Monday.

The latest talks are centred on finding a compromise that would satisfy all parties, with a cash deal paid in instalments and a cash-plus-player deal being discussed.

Chelsea would prefer a deal that includes player(s) while Inter would prefer a cash-only deal, but both parties are working towards a quick resolution.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

With reports of a possible return to Chelsea, we take a look at some of Lukaku’s best Premier League goals

Inter are expected to agree to sell Lukaku if the reigning European champions offer a deal worth £102m (€120m).

Sky Sports News reported on Wednesday Lukaku has told Inter he would like them to accept a suitable offer for him from his former club.

Premier League rivals Manchester City had also registered their interest in signing the 28-year-old earlier this year, but no offer was made as Inter showed no intention of selling at the time.

What does Lukaku deal mean for Haaland?

Erling Haaland
Image:
Erling Haaland has been a summer transfer target for Chelsea

Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:

“It’s a very good question as Chelsea were very interested in Haaland. Who knows, they could still be interested. Could you see a situation where they could try to break the bank by bringing in Haaland and Romelu Lukaku? That seems unlikely.

“This could drag on into next summer. Borussia Dortmund have said there’s no gentleman’s agreement with Haaland as there was with Jadon Sancho. All of the noises coming out of Germany are saying Dortmund won’t sell both those players in the same transfer window.

“Haaland has a release clause that kicks in next summer. With Man City in for Harry Kane and Chelsea in for Lukaku, where does that leave those two clubs with regards to Haaland? Maybe they both feel they could pair those players with Haaland but next summer there will be more clubs who could afford him.”

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.