Furious Chelsea fans rage at £98.5m flop Romelu Lukaku, as it emerges he ‘called Simeone Inzaghi to ask about a return to Inter Milan, the night before a Champions League clash with Real Madrid’… in which he missed a sitter
- Romelu Lukaku is poised to secure a return to Inter Milan on loan from Chelsea
- It has emerged in Italy that the Belgian striker took the initiative to secure move
- He reportedly called Inter boss Simone Inzaghi on his birthday on April 5
- After wishing him a happy birthday, Lukaku asked how he could get back to Inter
- The call came on the eve of Chelsea’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid
- £97.5m club record signing then didn’t score again for over a month afterwards
Romelu Lukaku ‘personally arranged his return to Inter Milan by phoning manager Simone Inzaghi on his birthday and asking to come back to the San Siro’.
The £98million Belgian striker is poised to re-sign for his old club Inter on loan after just one underwhelming season with Chelsea.
The two clubs are close to an agreement after Inter upped their initial loan fee of £6m to £8.5m with add-ons.
Romelu Lukaku (right) reportedly called Simone Inzaghi (right) back in April to set the wheels in motion on his loan move back to Inter Milan from Chelsea
The £97.5million Belgian striker is poised to return to the San Siro on loan for next season
And it has emerged in Italy that Lukaku took the lead in pushing through the comeback, bypassing even his agent Federico Pastorello, by picking up the phone to Inzaghi over two months ago.
Corriere dello Sport say the call took place at 8.30am on April 5 and after wishing the coach a happy 46th birthday, Lukaku reportedly asked: ‘Mister, what can I do to return to Inter?’
The conversation came the day before Chelsea played their crunch Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Real Madrid.
Lukaku helped Inter win the Scudetto during two successful seasons there before making the return to Chelsea last year
They lost the match 3-1, with Karim Benzema scoring a stunning hat-trick, and Lukaku wasted one of Chelsea’s best opportunities on the night as he headed wide when well placed.
Indeed, with Milan clearly on his mind, Lukaku didn’t score in the entire month of April and for over a month after calling Inzaghi.
Chelsea fans reacted furiously to the revelation on social media, branding Lukaku a ‘snake’.
One wrote ‘shocking professionalism’ while another said: ‘Just get him out. Elimination of his bad vibes will improve the team’s performance.’
It would have been a pleasant birthday present for Inzaghi because Lukaku was the man who convinced him to leave Lazio and accept Inter’s offer to replace Antonio Conte last year.
But Lukaku’s departure for Stamford Bridge in July 2021 caused the relationship between Inzaghi and Inter to falter.
Now, however, all will be forgiven with Lukaku poised to return to the club he helped to a first Scudetto in 11 years by scoring 24 league goals in the 2020-21 season.
‘Big Rom’ strongly wanted to go home and chose Inter again to return to being loved and pampered by a coach other than Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea fans reacted with fury at the revelation of Lukaku’s contact with Inzaghi in April
Lukaku called Inzaghi on his birthday on April 5, the day before a profligate performance in Chelsea’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge
Lukaku struggled to find his top form at Chelsea after the club record return there last August, scoring just eight Premier League goals and 15 overall in 44 games.
He stoked controversy back in December when, in an interview with Sky Italia, he admitted to ‘not being happy’ with his situation at Chelsea and criticised Tuchel’s tactics.
In the same interview, he expressed his desire to return to Inter ‘in the near future’, a wish that is now likely to come true.
Lukaku was sold to Chelsea not long after Simone Inzaghi made the move from Lazio
Thought Lukaku later apologised for the remarks, he was fined and the interview came to overshadow his and Chelsea’s season.
New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly was convinced Lukaku’s departure was the best for all parties once the Belgian had made it clear how determined he was to leave.
Lukaku’s exit sharpens Thomas Tuchel’s need to find another goal threat and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is at the forefront of plans.
Lukaku rocked the boat back in December by criticising Thomas Tuchel’s tactics at Chelsea
Chelsea have not made contact with City but, with one year left on his deal, they believe Sterling, 27, would be valued at around £55m.
City have been prepared for Sterling’s departure and will not stand in his way but Sportsmail understands he is still considering his options.
Chelsea are also keen on Robert Lewandowski but his desire to join Barcelona makes a deal unlikely. Red Bull Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele are options as well.