Inter Milan can’t afford him, Chelsea don’t want him and he vowed to Never join AC Milan…What Next for Lukaku?
Romelu Lukaku appears to be stuck at Chelsea with his lucrative contract making the forward a difficult player to sell in the transfer market.
The Belgian was the highest paid player in Serie A last season when on loan at Inter Milan. However, he struggled to justify the outlay. For the first six months of the season, Lukaku was either unavailable due to injury or lacking the required fitness to make a positive impact for both Inter and Belgium.
Having recently turned 30, Lukaku’s age is another worry for clubs interested in signing the forward, along with his salary demands and recent physical problems.
The current version of Lukaku is not worth a place at one of the elite clubs in European football. The forward is at serious risk of having begun an irreversible downward spiral in his career.
Lukaku has demonstrated that he requires a club that plays in a very specific way. Back under Antonio Conte, the striker thrived in during his initial spell at Inter Milan.
In contrast, Lukaku struggled to fit in Manchester United or Chelsea’s systems to positive effect.
Inter have no hope of re-signing Lukaku on loan for a second successive season. On the other hand, Chelsea has categorically ruled out the prospect.
The Blues are seeking an offer of at least €40million (£34m) as they seek to recover some of their outlay on the Belgian centre-forward.
As a consequence, Saudi Arabia remains a very real avenue with an offer remaining on the table to take Lukaku to the big spending Pro League.
Lukaku’s preference remains a return to Inter, but he must wait to see whether chairman Steven Zhang can put together an offer deemed acceptable by Chelsea.
In the meantime, Inter’s city rivals AC Milan have made their first offer to the Blues .
LUKAKU PROMISED THE FANS: ‘I WILL NEVER GO TO AC MILAN’
Lukaku had declared his love to Inter in an interview with Sky Sport back in 2021, where he reiterated that he would never accept offers from Milan and Juventus. But the situation has changed drastically.
As it stands, only Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan side can offer a route for Lukaku back to Serie A.
Chelsea had informed Lukaku’s entourage that another loan back to Inter would be impossible. The message had been relayed in particular to Sebastien Ledure, the lawyer who was central to brokering an agreement which saw Lukaku complete a season-loan to the club last year.
Chelsea are insistent that anyone who wants Lukaku must buy him outright. As Inter don’t have finances required for a deal, AC Milan represents Lukaku’s only option to remain in European football at this stage.
Lukaku could be left with only Al Hilal’s offer. The Saudi Arabian side have offered him a three-year contract worth €30m (£26m) per season.
Al-Hilal are continuing their push to sign the forward. The side is said to have begun their efforts immediately after Inter Milan’s loss to Manchester City in the Champions League final.
An initial meeting was held in the George V hotel in Paris in the hours after the Istanbul showpiece.