Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has refused to speak directly about Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, but admitted there are ‘a lot of players’ who want to join the European champions following reports that the Belgian has asked Inter to sanction a transfer.
Lukaku has emerged as Chelsea’s priority target this summer in effort to secure a new ‘number nine’ after turning attention away from Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland.
An opening bid worth £85m plus Marcos Alonso was rejected by Inter, but the Evening Standard has since reported that an improved Chelsea offer worth £100m-£110m is now likely to be accepted.
Initially signed as an 18-year-old, Lukaku left Chelsea permanently in 2014 when he was sold to Everton. He went on to join Manchester United for £75m in 2017 and has scored 64 goals in two seasons since signing for Inter in 2019.
90min explained earlier this week that Chelsea are now confident a deal to re-sign the prolific Belgian will be completed.
But Tuchel remained coy on the subject on Tuesday night when he faced media questions following Chelsea’s pre-season friendly against Tottenham.
“I won’t talk about players who are not in my squad. Romelu Lukaku is a fantastic player, he is not in my squad he is in Inter. Everyone wants to join my squad. I can imagine a lot of players want to come and join,” the Blues boss explained.
“We talk to the board about players, have our own opinions, and in the end we target players who in our opinion could make our squad strong, which is quite a challenge.
“There are some players of which we think they can be a good target and improvement in our squad. I will not comment on names as I don’t like it when other coaches speak about my players. So hopefully you understand that.”