Chelsea could make an approach for former striker Romelu Lukaku as they look to bring in a proven goalscorer this summer, although Inter’s current valuation of the Belgian star would mean smashing their existing transfer record to make it happen.
Chelsea invested heavily in attacking players last summer when they spent a combined £160m on Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech. But goals among the out-and-out strikers in the squad have been limited, with Werner, Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud scoring just 18 times between them in the Premier League so far.
90min first revealed back in December that Chelsea were prepared to spend big money on a new striker in 2021, initially focusing their efforts on Erling Haaland. But with the Norwegian currently the most coveted player in the world and now expected to command anywhere between £130m and £180m until a 2022 release clause activates, the Blues could turn their attention elsewhere.
The Daily Mail writes that Lukaku is on the Stamford Bridge radar and is considered an ‘attractive option’ because he is already familiar with the Premier League and Chelsea are already familiar with him, having first signed him as an 18-year-old back in 2011.
Chelsea sold Lukaku to Everton in 2014 following a successful loan at Goodison Park but were keen to re-sign him in 2017 for then manager Antonio Conte. They lost out to Manchester United on that occasion, but United in turn sold him to Inter in 2019, where he at last linked up with Conte.
Lukaku scored 34 times in all competitions in his debut campaign with Inter in 2019/20. It was the first time in his career he had reached the 30-goal milestone in a single season and he is on course to get there again in 2020/21, which is also set to yield Inter’s first Serie A title since 2010.
Despite the club’s renewed on-field success, there have been suggestions that Inter could be open to selling players this summer as a result of Chinese parent company Suning’s financial trouble.
But it would still take a premium fee to prise Lukaku away from San Siro and the reported figure is £105m, which would shatter Chelsea’s existing transfer record of £71.6m. It would also represent a new British record, far exceeding the £89m that Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba in 2016.
Harry Kane is also said to be of interest to Chelsea, as well as Manchester City, as a result of his uncertain future at Tottenham, but is also likely to be out of reach – 90min understands that the only Kane deal Spurs are willing to discuss this summer is a new contract.
Chelsea have additionally been heavily linked with departing Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero, who will be available as a free agent this summer and could offer a short-term solution.