Breaking: Romelu Lukaku returns, completes Chelsea switch




Lukaku being unveiled at Chelsea

Chelsea have completed a £98million deal to bring Romelu Lukaku back to the Premier League.

Talks with Inter Milan reached a conclusion on Saturday after days of negotiations over the fee and structure of the transfer. 

The 28-year-old landed at Biggin Hill airport on Wednesday evening ahead of his move back to Stamford Bridge, having passed the main part of his medical in Milan on Monday.

He then flew to Nice for meetings with his agent Federico Pastorello in Monaco on Tuesday and has now put pen to paper on an emotional return to west London. 

Thomas Tuchel had been desperate to bolster his attacking options on the eve of the new season as the German coach eyes a shot at the Premier League title in 2021-22. 

Olivier Giroud departed for AC Milan earlier this summer, Tammy Abraham has been made available for a move away and Timo Werner struggled in his first season following a £52m switch from RB Leipzig.  

Lukaku agreed to a Chelsea return at the end of last week after it became clear Inter were willing to sell to alleviate their growing financial concerns. 

It is understood that Lukaku has agreed terms on a contract worth around £10m a year after tax. 

The deal to bring him back to west London also sees Manchester United – where Lukaku played for two years before heading to Serie A to join Inter – receive £3.8m as a sell-on clause. 

The Blues kick their season off with a clash against London rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday, and they’ll hope to have Lukaku available for his second debut. 

Chelsea had been keen on Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland – only to find that path blocked on more than one occasion by the German club. 

Chelsea originally floated the idea of a player-plus-cash deal with Marcos Alonso and Davide Zappacosta both on the Blues’ trading block.

But cash-strapped Inter wanted the entire fee paid out, rather than get a player as a subsidy, in their bid to arrest their financial crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the club into economic downfall, with a £250m investment from Oaktree Capital at the end of May helping to keep the club afloat.

Inter saw boss Antonio Conte resign back in May while star right back Achraf Hakimi was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for £60m.

Tottenham are looking to prey on Inter’s financial vulnerability, too, having agreed a £60m fee for striker Lautaro Martinez last week.

But the deal to send Lukaku to Chelsea could yet throw a spanner in the works for Spurs with Inter aware they cannot strip all of their high value assets in one summer.