Chelsea tell Lukaku he can leave amid Inter Milan interest

Chelsea have reportedly told club-record signing Romelu Lukaku that he can rejoin Inter Milan this summer.

The Belgian returned to Stamford Bridge last summer to much fanfare, with the hope being that his £97.5m signing could be the difference in bridging the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

Lukaku had just enjoyed a superb spell at the San Siro, bagging 64 goals and providing 16 assists in just 96 appearances for the Nerazzurri, helping them claim a first Scudetto since 2010.

Despite being happy in Italy, the opportunity to return to Chelsea seemed to be one too hard to turn down, with Lukaku having failed to break into the Blues’ side during his first spell at the club between 2011 and 2014.

However, his first season back in the Premier League certainly hasn’t gone to plan, with the striker struggling to settle into Thomas Tuchel’s style of play at Stamford Bridge, registering just 15 goals in 44 outings in all competitions, including just eight in the Premier League.

Reports earlier this week confirmed that Inter Milan have been in contact regarding a return for the 29-year-old, and according to the Guardian, Lukaku has been told he can go, though only ‘providing the finances are right’.

One of the key reasons Inter sanctioned a sale was to raise funds, and the Italian side would only be able to re-sign him on loan, while they would also potentially need Chelsea to pay a percentage of Lukaku’s £325,000-a-week wages, or for the striker to agree to a pay cut.

According to the report Chelsea ‘will not stand in the way’ of Lukaku’s departure, but could demand a hefty loan fee of around £25m in order to sanction a move.

Aside from Lukaku, Inter Milan are already trying to tie up a deal to sign Paulo Dybala on a free transfer from Juventus, with the Italian side potentially having to sell more players in order to fund their business.

Centre-backs Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar have both been linked with exits in recent days, as has right-back Denzel Dumfries, with Bastoni said to be interesting Spurs and Manchester United, while Skriniar has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

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