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Inter turns down Chelsea’s £85m bid for Lukaku


Lukaku arrives London

Agency Report

Chelsea’s hope for a reunion with Romelu Lukaku hit a stumbling block after Inter Milan rejected Chelsea’s £85m bid for the Belgian striker.

Lukaku, 28, is at the head of Chelsea’s search for a new forward after Borussia Dortmund ruled out selling striker Erling Braut Haaland this summer amid interest from the Blues.

While Inter’s owners are wrestling with major financial issues, they are determined to keep hold of the Belgian, reports BBC, according to Tribal Football.

Lukaku, a former Chelsea player, was a pivotal figure last season as Inter won their first Serie A title since 2010.

It is understood Chelsea were willing to include Spanish defender Marcos Alonso in the deal.

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It remains to be seen whether the Champions League winners will make a higher offer, although Inter believe they are capable of resisting it and Lukaku has previously spoken about his intention to stay at the club.

UK Guardian reports that Inter, who have sold Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain for up to €70m, need to raise funds and there were doubts over Lukaku’s future after the departure of Antonio Conte as manager in May. Lukaku had a close relationship with Conte, who left after falling out with the board, and has proved himself in the Premier League.

However, Lukaku, who had a spell at Chelsea before being sold to Everton in 2014, remains happy at Inter. He has held productive talks with Simone Inzaghi, Conte’s replacement, and there are few signs that he will push for a move, placing the onus on Chelsea to make Inter an offer too big to turn down. The deal could be harder to pull off if Inter raise funds by selling their Argentinian forward Lautaro Martínez, who has been linked with Arsenal.

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Chelsea need to lighten their squad and are open to selling Alonso. The left-back is not a regular starter under Tuchel.

However, Lukaku has already expressed his desire to stay with the Italian giants following the arrival of Lazio former coach, Inzaghi.

“Yes, I am staying,” Lukaku, who joined in 2019 from Manchester United, told the broadcaster VTM. “I feel good at Inter.” Inter parted ways with coach Antonio Conte shortly after winning the title and Lukaku said he had been in contact with Conte’s replacement. Inter on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Simone Inzaghi on a two-year contract after his deal at Lazio expired.

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“I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager,” said Lukaku, speaking before Inzaghi was confirmed in the job. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet … but it was a very positive conversation. There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning the league].”