Romelu Lukaku could be set for a shock switch to Tottenham this summer, with Antonio Conte reportedly keen to partner the Chelsea striker alongside Harry Kane. The Belgium international has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, despite having only arrived from Inter Milan nearly twelve months ago.
He has struggled to acclimatise to the Premier League upon his return to west London, finding the net 17 times in 44 appearances this season. Lukaku’s misfortune in front of goal has cast doubt over his future, though he is still able to court the interest of several top-flight European clubs ahead of the transfer window.
The 28-year-old has been linked with moves to Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and, now, Tottenham. But, the Chelsea striker has reportedly agreed upon a salary with the Italian giants, with a potential loan return to the Serie A this summer on the cards – a deal which is said to cost £20m in loan fees, according to The Telegraph.
football.london understand that the Belgium international has asked his lawyer to check the possibility of a possible return to the San Siro, less than 12 months after making the move from Milan to London. However, according to Calciomercato, Inter must first solve the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, who each have a year left on their current deals with the Nerazzurri.
The Chilean duo are among the highest earners at the club and the Italian giants may be reduced to terminating these deals by mutual consent rather than making any profit on a sale. Sanchez, who will likely demand a farewell fee if his deal is terminated, has reportedly already rejected several moves away from Inter ahead of the summer, throwing a spanner in the works.
All in all, a deal that sees Lukaku join Inter on loan can not be completed until this issue is resolved. Waiting in the wings and ready to pounce is Conte, who is said to be keen in luring the Belgian to White Hart Lane.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport, the Spurs boss is working to sign Lukaku this summer. The report claims that Conte is all that stands between Lukaku putting all his eggs in one basket and choosing Inter.
Corriere Dello Sport add that Lukaku has been the Italian boss’ number one target and wants to partner him alongside Kane in a two-man strike force. In the meantime, the Nerazzurri are reportedly working to complete a free loan of Lukaku before June 30 so that the club can ‘pay less taxes’ and ‘thus be able to offer the striker bigger wages’.
It really is a race against time. football.london also understand that Lukaku is to hold talks with Todd Boehly and the higher-ups ahead of making his final decision. Whether or not these talks have happened or not seem to have had no impact on the striker who reportedly wants nothing to do with current boss Thomas Tuchel ‘anymore’, according to the latest Italian reports via Sport Witness.
“I think if he plans to talk with the owner, maybe it is not his plan to talk with me. It’s fair enough. Let’s see if he gets a meeting! It is his right. We will talk to anybody,” Tuchel said on the £59m-rated striker ahead of the FA Cup final. “We will evaluate any situation of any player, including Romelu. We will see what is going to happen and what the plans are.”