Lukaku forced Inter’s hand in £98m Chelsea move

The Belgium international admits to having set his heart on a return to Stamford Bridge once it became apparent that interest was «serious»

Romelu Lukaku admits that he forced Inter’s hand once learning that interest from Chelsea was «serious» during the summer transfer window, with the Belgian striker determined to complete a £98 million ($136m) move.

That offer eventually proved to be enough for Serie A champions to part with a prized asset, with three previous bids being knocked back.

Lukaku started to fear that a deal would never be done, leading to him seeking out talks with those at the centre of discussions as his heart started to head back to Stamford Bridge.

What has been said?

Lukaku has told HLN of securing a return to Chelsea 10 years after he first linked up with the Blues: «With Chelsea’s third offer, I knew it was serious and I wasn’t there anymore.

«Chelsea offered €110m plus [Davide] Zappacosta, but Inter said no, so I went to [Simone] Inzaghi’s office asking to find an agreement.”

«I was still at Inter, but my head was already in London.

«Inter pulled me out of sh*t, I would have only left the Nerazzurri for Chelsea.»

Why did Chelsea want Lukaku?

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea 2021

Chelsea first signed Lukaku back in 2011 when he was a promising teenager that had burst onto a senior stage at Anderlecht.

He took in just 15 goalless appearances for the Blues before heading out on loan to West Brom and Everton, with a permanent move to Goodison Park made in 2014.

With his stock continuing to rise, a big-money switch to Manchester United was completed in 2017 and Lukaku went on to become a member of the Premier League’s 100-goal club.

His qualities were never fully appreciated at Old Trafford, though, and he left for Inter after two seasons with the Red Devils.

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Two productive years in Italy delivered 64 goals in 95 appearances, along with a Serie A title triumph, and those exploits convinced Chelsea that he was worth another shot.

The powerful 28-year-old is already up and running back in English football, with a debut goal recorded against Arsenal, and the expectation is that he will help to fire the Champions League holders into contention for a Premier League title in 2021-22.

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