Chelsea are desperate to add a world-class centre-forward to their ranks this summer as Thomas Tuchel looks to bridge the gap between his side and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
The German will be hoping to get his hands on a prolific frontman before their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace in ten days’ time, with Tammy Abraham reportedly set to depart the club this month.
The Blues have chased Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland for much of the summer, but the German club is unwilling to part ways with the 21-year-old in this transfer window, having already sold Jadon Sancho to Manchester United last month.
Still, Chelsea have now identified Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku as their number one target given the Haaland deal looks dead and buried.
With that being said, football.london have rounded up the very latest on Lukaku and his possible return to Stamford Bridge.
Three bids turned down
Chelsea have seen three offers for Lukaku turned down this summer, football.london understands.
The Blues had two bids rejected for the 28-year-old striker and a third was launched earlier this week and it was also understood to be turned down.
The latest offer is thought to have included £85million, plus Marcos Alonso – who had been linked with a move to Inter Milan.
Chelsea are likely to submit another bid for Lukaku before the window closes later this month, with the Belgium striker viewed as the club’s top target now that a deal for Haaland is deemed virtually impossible.
£102m price tag
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Inter Milan are demanding €120m (£102m) for Lukaku, and it’s a fee that Chelsea are willing to pay.
If the Blues were to match Inter’s asking price, then Lukaku would become the west London club’s record signing by some distance – with Kai Havertz and Kepa Arrizabalaga both costing £72m.
Inter’s stance over Lukaku exit
Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta recently insisted Lukaku was not for sale despite strong interest from Chelsea.
“From our side, we can yes absolutely, Lukaku is not for sale,” Marotta told Sportmediaset. “Lukaku is an important piece on the chessboard available to Simone Inzaghi.”
However, the Blues will be looking to test Inter’s resolve with an improved offer for the Belgian forward, especially considering the Serie A champions’ financial difficulties over the past 12 months or so.
Lukaku issues his stance
Speaking back in early June, Lukaku confirmed he would be staying at the San Siro, but the situation may have changed two months on.
Lukaku said to VTM, via The Guardian: “Yes, I am staying. I feel good at Inter.
“I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager (Simone Inzaghi).
“Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet … but it was a very positive conversation. There’s also the challenge of doing it again [winning the league].”
Inter need to sell
Inter still need to sell one of their star players and would prefer to offload Lautaro Martinez over Lukaku, according to transfer expert Kristof Terreur.
“Inter still need to sell one more player. No acceptable offers for Lautaro – the one they wanted to sell – have come in so… If Inter accept the offer, Lukaku will move”, Terreur said.
Given the Nerazzurri are yet to receive an acceptable proposal for the Argentine it appears that the Italian giants will be willing to part ways with Lukaku if they receive a bid that meets their asking price for the Belgian.
Blues ready improved offer
Chelsea are readying a new offer of up to €130million (£111million), according to Goal.
The report also claims that Inter are likely to accept a fee in that region given their current financial situation, with the structuring of a deal also being discussed.
The Blues are now discussing viable exit strategies for wantaway striker Tammy Abraham, with Sky Italia reporting that Atalanta are interested in the Englishman.
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