Inter striker Romelu Lukaku is reported to have asked to be left out of the club’s pre-season friendly against Parma on Sunday as he waits for a proposed transfer to Chelsea to be completed.
Lukaku has scored 64 goals in two seasons with Inter since joining from Manchester United in 2019, helping the club end a 10-year title drought in Serie A last May.
But Chelsea are determined to sign a new striker this summer and have turned their attention away from Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland to focus on the prolific Belgian instead. Lukaku himself is believed to keen in re-joining Chelsea, whom he left permanently in 2013, over unfinished business – he made only 15 appearances for the Blues last time round.
Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla has reported that Lukaku asked, and was granted, permission not to play against Parma this weekend. He has requested that Inter to sell him to Chelsea ahead of a planned conference call with Blues executive Marina Granovskaia to negotiate the transfer fee.
Chelsea have already had an £85m plus Marcos Alsonso bid turned down by Inter and are expected to be preparing two further offers to present to the Serie A champions. It has been rumoured in Italy that Chelsea are preparing an £89m plus Davide Zappacosta bid, and if that is rejected they will offer up to £97.5m cash instead.
90min revealed earlier this month that there is a growing confidence at Chelsea that a deal for Lukaku will be completed. Although he has never previously scored for Chelsea, Lukaku is proven in the Premier League at other English clubs. He scored 17 goals in all competitions on loan at West Brom in 2012/13, before going on to net 87 times for Everton and a further 42 for Manchester United.