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Romelu Lukaku makes Chelsea transfer request ahead of Inter Milan’s pre-season return



Romelu Lukaku has reiterated his desire to leave Chelsea this summer, with the forward desperate to receive clarity on his future in the coming weeks.

The Belgian joined the Blues in the summer of 2021, for a then club-record transfer fee of £97.5 million, having led Italian giants Inter Milan to their first Scudetto in 11 years.

Under former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur boss, Antonio Conte’s tutelage, Lukaku endured some of the best goalscoring form of his career, netting 30 goals in 44 games that season, earning him a big summer move back to the Premier League.

However, following a spell of inconsistent performances combined with off-field controversies, the striker was loaned back to the Nerazzurri for the 2022-23 season.

Speculation surrounding the striker’s future has been building in the past few months after a mixed return to Italy, however the Belgian has cleared up his plans for this summer.

As relayed via Sport Witness, Italian sources state Lukaku’s dream is to remain at Inter, and ideally for the move to be completed before the Milan club’s pre-season begins on July 13.

But this may not be as simple as it appears with the Serie A club reportedly reluctant to pay Chelsea’s asking price of €40 million upfront.

Chelsea, who have already sanctioned a mass exodus of players from the club this summer, are said to have received lucrative offers for Belgium’s record goal-scorer from ‘the very rich’ Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.

The west London club have seen Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy swap Stamford Bridge for Saudi Arabia, while Hakim Ziyech proposed move to Al-Nassr looks to have collapsed due to issues emerging from his medical.

Despite this, Lukaku has made it abundantly clear he has no desire to ‘sell his soul to the Devil’ with a move to the Middle East and is insistent on staying in Europe.

However, the big forward may have to retain a degree of patience if his wishes of a permanent return to San Siro are to be granted.

Gazzetta dello Sport explain that Inter must raise funds for the purchase of the Belgian, with goalkeeper Andre Onana and holding-midfielder Marcelo Brozovic being named the most likely to make way.

Lukaku scored 14 goals in 37 games last season, helping his beloved Inter reach the Champions League Final, which they went onto lose to treble winners Manchester City.

And with a respectable second placed Serie A finish for Inter allowing them to return to Europe’s premier competition, the forward will be hoping to permanently return to Milan and go one better next season.