Chelsea and Inter Milan have reached a loan deal for striker Romelu Lukaku, according to Sky in Italy.
The 29-year-old is expected to undergo medicals next week ahead of his return to San Siro.
Only the final details of the deal need to be ironed out before Inter can welcome Lukaku back to the club just 11 months after selling him to Chelsea for £97.5million.
The two clubs have agreed a loan deal totaling £10.3m, consisting of a loan fee of £6.9m plus £3.4m in bonuses.
Lukaku took a 30 per cent pay cut to ease his exit, with his earnings set to drop from £10million a year after tax to £7million. All his salaries will be paid by Inter.
Tuesday night’s breakthrough came after several rounds of negotiations over the past few weeks involving Lukaku’s lawyer Sebastian Ledure and Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta.
Lukaku scored just eight Premier League goals in 26 appearances last season after returning to Stamford Bridge for a club record.
In December, Lukaku said Sky in Italy he wanted to come back to Inter one day saying, “I really hope deep in my heart to come back to Inter, not at the end of my career, but at a still good level to hope to earn more.”
Last week it was revealed Inter could not afford to sign Lukaku – who scored 64 goals in 95 games and helped them win the Serie A title during his time at the club – on a permanent deal .
Chelsea decided to let Lukaku go after talks between Todd Boehly – who was named interim chairman and sporting director on Wednesday – and Thomas Tuchel, as well as talks between Boehly and Lukaku.
The owner and head coach wanted to resolve Lukaku’s future quickly so they could focus on strengthening their squad this summer.
Chelsea are keen to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, while Richarlison, Ousmane Dembele, Jules Kounde, Matthijs de Ligt, Jonathan Clauss and Milan Skriniar are also targets.
“One of the worst transfers in the history of the PL”
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“You can’t put a positive spin on this. The transfer will go down in Premier League history as one of the worst transfer deals ever. Chelsea signed him for almost £100million He was brilliant for two seasons at Inter, but came to Chelsea and things started to go wrong quickly.
“He gave this interview to Sky in Italy in which he basically said he wanted to return to Inter. It seems from the outside that his heart was not in it. I get it, he doesn’t particularly like the way Chelsea are playing under Thomas Tuchel, but it doesn’t seem like he tried too hard to adapt. I think the vast majority of Chelsea fans will be happy to see him from behind.
“But it’s an extraordinary story, a player they signed for almost £100m coming back to Inter a year later on what will probably be a loan deal, and Inter will pay £10m. £ to start. And then there’s his salary, because he makes around £325,000 a week at Chelsea. Someone close to the negotiations told us yesterday he was leaving. He has no future. at Chelsea.”
What positions are Chelsea targeting?
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
Chelsea are pressing ahead with their summer recruitment plans now that the £4.25 billion takeover of the club by the Todd Boehly-led consortium has been completed.
The Blues have already reached a verbal agreement with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.
Talks over a deal for Koundé collapsed last year, but there is optimism from all parties that it will be done this time around.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe is among a shortlist of central defensive options and is favored by Thomas Tuchel. Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol are also among those wanted.
Chelsea games: Lampard’s Everton first, then Spurs
Chelsea kick off 2022/23 season with trip to Everton from Frank Lampard live sky sports before hosting London rivals Spurs in their first home game.
Thomas Tuchel’s side face a meeting with Blues legend Lampard at Goodison Park on August 6, kicking off at 5.30pm, before Tottenham visit Stamford Bridge a week later.
Chelsea will host Liverpool in west London on September 17, Manchester United on October 22 and Arsenal on November 5.
Their final game before the month-long World Cup break is at Newcastle, and they continue their campaign on Boxing Day against newly promoted Bournemouth.
Chelsea travel to Tottenham on February 25 and Arsenal on April 29, the latter marking the start of a bumper of the last five games, including Manchester City away on the penultimate weekend of the season and Newcastle at home on the final day.
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Who will be on the road this summer before the transfer window closes in 11 p.m. on September 1.
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