Chelsea have a mixed record when it comes to spending big money on strikers in recent years, and it looks like Romelu Lukaku will be remembered alongside Alvaro Morata and Fernando Torres as marquee signings that just didn’t work out.
On paper, Lukaku’s return to Stamford Bridge last summer looked like a no-brainer. He was coming off two exceptional seasons with Inter Milan and there was plenty of unfinished business to motivate him, but it just didn’t work out.
Sky Sports reported that Chelsea paid as much as £97.5m to bring him back to the club last summer, but it now looks like he’ll be allowed to leave on loan with the asking price for the operation being drastically dropped:
Inter are increasingly confident of securing Romelu Lukaku on loan. Tone has changed after Chelsea show willingness to compromise on his exit: https://t.co/YQA5FuugtD #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 15, 2022
The report does claim that Chelsea have explored the possibility of trying to sign one of Inter’s defenders in return as they look to strengthen a positon of need, but that’s unlikely to happen and this looks like it will just be a loan operation, while there’s no suggestion of there being an option to buy at this stage.
His position in the squad will need to be filled but he was only able to provide eight Premier League goals last season so it might not be the biggest boots to fill, while in some ways it’s admirable of Chelsea to simply cut bait and admit the experiment has failed rather than trying to force him into the team to justify the giant outlay.