Chelsea are in talks with Inter over the nature of the deal that will take Romelu Lukaku back to San Siro.
The striker only joined Chelsea from Inter last summer but endured a forgettable comeback season at Stamford Bridge following his £97.5m transfer, with his season derailed by a bout of Covid-19, an ankle injury and an ill-advised interview with Italian media that all came in quick succession.
Ultimately Lukaku managed only 15 goals in all competitions in 2021/22, including just eight in the Premier League – a stark contrast to the 64 goals in 95 games he rattled in for Inter.
Sources have told 90min that Lukaku has signalled he has his heart set upon a return to the Nerazzurri – something he had already publicly revealed in that conversation with Sky Sports Italia – and Chelsea will not stand in his way.
Such is his eagerness to return to the club he left just one year ago, the 28-year-old is prepared to agree to a pay cut to smoothen his path back to Italy, thus making a 50% tax discount possible for Inter.
90min understands Chelsea and Inter are in dialogue about the structure of the agreement that would take Lukaku back to San Siro. A one or two-year loan is the most likely outcome, and Inter will have to pay a fee to secure a deal.
The Milan club are confident of getting their man, with both parties aiming to conclude negotiations before the end of June.
Although he is open to Lukaku remaining in west London, head coach Thomas Tuchel has communicated to the club’s new ownership it may be best for all concerned to grant the Belgian his wish of a return to Serie A.
The German hopes to oversee a mini-overhaul of the Blues’ frontline, where Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic could also be sold. Soon-to-be free agent Ousmane Dembele is among Chelsea’s attacking targets, and there is a confidence that he will sign. Milan’s Raphael Leao is also being monitored.