- Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku for £97.5m from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021
- The striker fell out with former boss Thomas Tuchel in just four months
- He is back on loan at Inter Milan with a decision to be made on his future at the end of the season
Romelu Lukaku was the most expensive signing of the Roman Abramovich era when he joined Chelsea for the second time from Inter Milan for £97.5m in the summer of 2021.
The Belgian striker helped Inter win their first Scudetto in 10 years and was named the league's MVP after scoring 24 goals and providing 11 assists under former Blues boss Antonio Conte.
He produced a dominant display on his debut against Arsenal and gave fans a feeling of having a proper number 9, which they have not had since the departure of Diego Costa in 2018.
Things soon went downhill after a mistimed interview with Sky Italia, where he questioned Thomas Tuchel'ss tactics and openly discussed the idea of returning to Italy in his prime.
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He left on loan at the end of the season despite a chance of ownership before Tuchel was also shown the exit a few games into the season.
Potter opens door to Lukaku
Graham Potter is navigating the season almost without a striker after freezing out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a season-ending injury to young striker Armando Broja. Kai Havertz is leading the attack as a false 9.
He was asked about the prospect of Lukaku returning to Stamford Bridge, and he did not rule out the possibility, but things would wait till summer.
‘‘Well, he’s still a Chelsea player and we’re monitoring him of course. We understand where he’s at, he’s on loan, those decisions will be made in the summer,’’ he told Canal+ via Metro UK.
‘‘He’s a fantastic player, someone who we know and like. But again, we need to speak about that in the summer because he’s playing on loan for his club.’’
Lukaku responds to Inter CEO
Sports Brief reported that Lukaku fired back at Inter CEO after scoring the only goal in the first leg round of 16 tie against Porto, which subsequently helped Nerazzurri progress.
Beppe Marotta criticised the Belgian striker's weight and cited it as why he did not start the game. Lukaku did not take it personally but responded calmly after he helped the team win.