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“It is obvious” – Pochettino confirms controversial Chelsea star set for imminent Stamford Bridge exit



Romelu Lukaku will play no part in Chelsea’s pre-season tour of America and is destined to leave the club after just two years since his return.

The 30-year-old will part company with Chelsea after joining the club in 2021 for a then club-record fee of £97.5 million from Inter Milan.

Lukaku spent last season on loan at Inter and looked destined for a return to the San Siro on a permanent basis this summer, but following talks with Juventus, Inter, who were left furious, withdrew their interest after finding out about the Belgian’s transfer movement.

Juventus are the frontrunners for Lukaku’s signature after lodging a €37.5 million plus add-ons bid to Chelsea, according to Sky in Italy, on the condition that forward Dusan Vlahovic is sold by August 4.

Chelsea delayed Lukaku’s return to their Cobham training ground for the start of pre-season until Tuesday once the squad had left for the United States. They are looking to resolve his future as soon as possible with his representatives and lawyer.

Once Lukaku leaves, it will be one less headache for Chelsea and Pochettino, who has backed the decision to actively work on a solution to find the Belgium international a new club as quickly as they can.

Ahead of Chelsea’s opening pre-season fixture against Wrexham, Pochettino was quizzed by reporters over whether or not Lukaku was going to depart Stamford Bridge for the second time.

As quoted by ESPN, Pochettino replied: “I think it is obvious. I think we can repeat this.

“It is obvious what is going on with him. I think in between the club and the player, they share the same similar ideas and we are working on that to try to fix it and have the best solution for both parties.”

He added: “It is obvious the decision had been made on the side of the player also. We act in consequence of the decision (Lukaku), club and player are in position they wanted.”

Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all also left at Cobham, with Chelsea looking to move the trio on this summer as part of the squad overhaul.

On his decision to leave them in England, Pochettino continued: “It is the club and of course it is an interesting situation. When this type of decision is (made it’s) because all agree. Player and club are working hard to try and find best solution.”