Chelsea dealt blow as Roman Abramovich's top target confirms transfer decision
Chelsea’s transfer plans have been dealt a significant blow after key target Romelu Lukaku confirmed his intention to stay at Inter Milan beyond the summer.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly made Lukaku, 28, his top target ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
Lukaku spent three years at Stamford Bridge earlier in his career but only made 15 appearances for the club before being sold to Everton.
The Belgium international then moved to Manchester United before joining Inter Milan in 2019 and re-establishing himself as one of the best strikers in the world.
Lukaku has scored 64 goals in 95 appearances for Inter and starred in the club’s stunning Serie A title triumph this season under former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Chelsea are keen for Lukaku to return to west London as Thomas Tuchel’s plots a Premier League title bid but the 28-year-old striker has seemingly ended the transfer pursuit by insisting he is ‘staying’ at Inter Milan.
Asked about his future, Lukaku told HLN: ‘Yes, I am staying. I’ve already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager.
‘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 with Inter]. I feel good at Inter.’
Inter are yet to confirm their replacement for Antonio Conte, who left Milan shortly after their league title triumph.
On Conte’s departure, Lukaku added: ‘The heights I have reached as a player are thanks to him. He repeats a lot, repeats tactical exercises.
‘In the beginning it was mostly individual, lots of videos to get tactically better. He was always constructive in his criticism. Not killing me off to kill me off, but killing me to make me better.
‘If you do that every day, for a player like me, who is super focused on football, I could only get a better player.
‘When I heard he was going to leave, it was difficult because we have such a hungry group and guys who really work for the team. And then the cycle was suddenly stopped.’
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