Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly could bear the cost of Romelu Lukaku’s disappointing World Cup campaign if they look to offload him permanently next summer. The Belgian has struggled to get going on loan at Inter Milan, who will reportedly look to use his poor form as a point of leverage in negotiations with the Premier League giants.
Lukaku and Chelsea were reunited in 2021 as the striker was given his second chance to crack Stamford Bridge. Things started on a bright note as he bagged twice on his second debut against Arsenal, but the goals dried up and the good mood went with it.
The frontman came under fierce scrutiny when he conducted a tell-all interview with Sky Italia at the turn of the year, during which he admitted that he would love to return to Inter one day. He apologised to Chelsea fans as his single-season stint at Stamford Bridge ended with a whimper and he left to rejoin Inter in a straight loan deal.
Lukaku’s troubling form and the way his time at Chelsea ended has left the club in a poor bargaining position when it comes to selling him in the summer as his price tag plummets.
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Lukaku played the best football of his career during his first spell at Inter, during which he scored a superb 47 goals in 72 Serie A matches. His prolific partnership with Lautaro Martinez helped Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri to the league title in 2020/21, making the striker one of the most sought-after players in Europe.
The former Everton and Manchester United star has also had an impressive career at international level, blazing a trail in the all-time Belgian scoring charts with 68 goals. He came into the 2022 World Cup nowhere near his best form, however, and manager Roberto Martinez’s departure signals the end of an era, as well as what many had termed the ‘golden generation’.
Prospects of building bridges and returning to Chelsea appear slim, given that the Blues have signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his replacement. Armando Broja is also pushing for more responsibility through the middle, and Blues winger Raheem Sterling suggests that he will have plenty to offer in years to come.
“He’s the fastest man in the world,” he told UMM. “When people see him properly… yeah. I can’t lie, I’ve been telling my friends outside the club that he’s the next one. It’s him. I’ve heard a lot of things about him without ever really watching him. But he’s the truth.”
lukaku has been at his best for inter, what he did under conte maybe not respect deserved in prem – also good at intl level 68 goals leading by miles, nowhere near top form and martinez resignation end of an era – chels already replaced him with auba and broja coming through, sterling says youngster quickest at chels – quotes