Romelu Lukaku’s decision to return to Chelsea came after being ‘wooed’ by the club’s determined pursuit of his signing and the opportunity to work under Thomas Tuchel.
Lukaku is on the verge of sealing a return to the Premier League in a club-record £97.5m deal, with Chelsea set to spend a record-breaking sum on the Belgium international following a prolific period at Inter Milan.
The 28-year-old signed for the Nerazzurri from Manchester United two seasons ago and has enjoyed the best football of his career at the San Siro, scoring 64 goals in 95 appearances and being named as Serie A’s Most Valuable Player in 2020/21.
Chelsea maintained their interest in his signing despite Inter’s stance that the star was not for sale, with the European champions eventually agreeing a deal with the cash-strapped Serie A side.
Tuchel’s faith in Lukaku’s ability was another major factor in his decision to return to Stamford Bridge, having made just 15 goalless appearances for Chelsea after arriving as a teenager from Anderlecht.
He had spells on loan with West Brom and Everton during his time in the capital, before signing for the latter in a permanent £28m deal in 2014.
Tuchel had made the forward his leading target as he seeks to end his side’s wastefulness around goal, securing a deal that makes Lukaku the most expensive player in history in terms of cumulative transfer fees, his latest move taking his total to a huge £291 million.
Last week, the German opened up on the type of player he is looking to add to his squad, with Lukaku seemingly the man to fit the bill: “We could use a player used to playing with their back to goals whose strength is to keep possession from long balls,” he said. “We can add this direct style of play to our portfolio and this is the characteristic of player that is not Tammy, Timo or Kai so this is a profile we don’t have in the squad and could be useful but not for any cost.”