Chelsea have rejected Inter Milan’s offer for Romelu Lukaku as they look to take advantage of interest in the striker to raise around 45m euros (£40m).
The Blues signed Lukaku in a deal worth £97m just two seasons ago, but after falling out with the Chelsea fans and then-coach Thomas Tuchel, he was sent back to Inter Milan on loan last summer.
Now returned, he is set to depart again this summer, but on a permanent basis.
The 30-year-old is keen on a return to Inter, where he spent the most fruitful years of his career, but the Blues have rejected the Italian sides’ offer out of hand, it has been reported, with Inter ‘not close to reaching Chelsea’s target of €45m’.
It has opened the door to alternative destinations, and though Lukaku rejected a move to Saudi Arabia earlier in the summer he is now thought to be considering a proposal from Al-Hilal, while fellow Serie A side Juventus are also reported to be interested in the Belgian.
Quizzed on Lukaku, new boss Mauricio Pochettino explained that ‘I think the personal situations all the parties know what we think. In that case he needs to come back on the 12th or 13th [July] to be part of the squad and start pre-season.’
‘When the player arrives the first thing they are doing is to come to my office to see me and say hello. That is what I expect if he is still a Chelsea player.’
Lukaku still has 3 years left to run on his £325,000 per week deal at Stamford Bridge, but there is widespread acceptance that he will not be at the club at the beginning of the season, and that the Blues will have to take another massive loss on a player bought by the previous ownership.
One man who will be leaving this week is fellow attacker Christian Pulisic, who has agreed a 22m euro switch to AC Milan, where he will link up with former teammates Fikayo Tomori and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.