Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on Wednesday after ending his season-long loan from Chelsea just a year after a failed move from Italy to the Premier League club.
Belgium striker Lukaku will reunite with his former fans at the San Siro after Chelsea agreed to a deal that would see Inter pay an initial €8m plus a potential €3m loan bonus.
The London club released a statement confirming a “season loan move”.
His return was officially announced in a video posted on Inter’s social media, with Lukaku saying, “We’re back baby” while talking to chairman Steven Zhang on the roof of the club’s headquarters.
The 29-year-old will once again lead the charge for Inter as they try to reclaim the Serie A title after being told of a €8.5m pay cut for the upcoming campaign.
Italian media are reporting that Inter and Chelsea have a gentlemen’s agreement that the loan could be extended for another season if the move works, with his lawyer Sebastian Ledour saying on Wednesday “anything can happen” to the end. next season.
Lukaku reporters report on his arrival at Milan’s Linate Airport early Wednesday morning that he is “very happy” to be back.
He was greeted by enthusiastic fans in the afternoon as he walked to his medical examination, his car was blocked by fans chanting his name and “win us a scudetto”.
Lukaku left London after failing to impress a second time at Chelsea, falling short of high expectations after a £97.5m move from Inter last summer.
– Fan Favorite –
In his two years at Inter, he became a fan favourite, scoring 64 goals in 95 games to lead them to their first Serie A title in more than a decade: the 2021 Scudetto ended an 11-year drought and Juventus’ grip on Italian football. .
However, the financial problems of Inter’s owners Suning Group, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, led coach Antonio Conte to leave the club almost immediately after winning the title.
With Conte’s replacement Simone Inzaghi just weeks into his new job, Lukaku followed Conte out the door when then-European champions Chelsea offered a hefty amount that alleviated some of Inter’s financial woes, issues that meant a loan was the only way to which he could return.
He failed to replicate his Serie A form with the Blues and infuriated Chelsea fans by doing an interview with Sky Sport Italia in December in which he said Inter was in his heart and he wanted to come back.
The comments also prompted ardent Inter ultras to say they were not interested in his return, seeing his move to Chelsea as a betrayal of his declaration of love for the Milan club.
They told the other fans not to cheer for Lukaku as he was now “just one of many”. These instructions were ignored by those who camped outside in the hot summer sun while the striker was treated at the Milan office of the Italian Olympic Committee.
Inter are still trying to cut costs, with star defender Milan Skrinjar reportedly set to be sold this summer, and the overworked and highly paid striker also in need of a cut.
They would benefit from legislation that offers significant tax cuts for foreign residents under certain conditions, but the arrival of Lukaku stalled Inter’s bid to bring striker and free agent Paulo Dybala to Argentina.