Inter Milan will be unable to sign Romelu Lukaku permanently this summer as it stands, with the club continuing to lose money and unable to stump up any sort of acceptable transfer fee.
The Belgian will therefore ‘return to Chelsea against his will at the end of the season’, reports Italian media, with the 30-year-old having struggled to nail down a spot in the Italian side this season.
Injuries and fitness have limited him to just 18 Serie A appearances, in which time he has notched just three goals and two assists in a struggling Inter side.
Now, it appears as though he will be returning to Chelsea come the summer, which could bring with it a whole new set of problems.
Even without managerial uncertainty, the Blues are crying out for a striker, with Kai Havertz having been deployed in that role this season.
However, Lukaku has already burned his bridges at Stamford Bridge after an explosive interview in which he revealed that he wanted a return to Inter just months after his switch to west London, and his performances under Thomas Tuchel did nothing to win him back any favour with the Blues fans.
As a result, a reintegration could be difficult, but should he leave it won’t be back to Milan.
Why are Inter Milan struggling?
As a general rule of thumb, financial issues have meant that in recent seasons, Inter have had to sell one of their stars each season.
Last summer, they resisted bids of up to £50m for central defender Milan Skriniar, only for the defender to now be set to walk away on a free transfer this summer and join Paris Saint Germain, leaving a massive hole in their squad.
According to the Daily Mail, Inter ‘recorded losses of €784m (£694m) over the past 10 years and they have an annual operating loss of about €150m (£133m)’.
This will only be made worse if they cannot qualify for next season’s Champions League, with the San Siro side currently sitting 5th and outside the qualification spots for Europe’s most prestigious competition.
These issues make the sale of more key assets, such as Niccolo Barella, more likely, as well as essentially ruling out anything other than a cut-price return for Lukaku, something that Chelsea would likely not sanction given their own precarious financial position.