Lukaku’s ‘preference’ is to stay at Chelsea, but ‘unhappy’ striker exploring ‘other options’

Romelu Lukaku is said to be exploring his options after his frustrating return to Chelsea, though his ‘preference’ is to remain at Stamford Bridge.

There were hopes that the £97.5 million signing of Lukaku could transform Chelsea into genuine title challengers this season, with the Belgian netting three goals in his first three Premier League outings upon his return to Chelsea.

Since then though, things haven’t gone so well, adding just two more league goals to his tally and having lost his place within starting XI.

Eight of Lukaku’s last nine appearances have come off the bench, while he was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Everton on Sunday afternoon with Thomas Tuchel turning to Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech instead of the former Toffees striker.

According to Goal, Lukaku – whose last league goal came back in late December – is ‘unhappy’ at his lack of opportunities of late, and is ‘exploring other options’.

A return to Italy could be a possibility, with AC Milan said to be interested while a return to Inter Milan has also been linked, though the report says his overall ‘preference’ is to remain at Stamford Bridge and make his second spell at the club ‘more successful than his first’.

Overall, Lukaku has scored 11 goals and provided two assists in his 39 games in all competitions for the Blues this season, but his style of play seems to be at odds with that of manager Thomas Tuchel, to leave the West London club with a dilemma of what to do with their record signing this summer: persevere and hope for a turnaround, or take what would likely be a big financial hit on last summer’s outlay.

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