Romelu Lukaku’s agent, Inter, has notified Chelsea that they no longer intend to pursue him
Negotiations between the two clubs lasted months in the expectation that Lukaku would make a permanent return to Inter, and an agreement was on the verge of being reached on Friday night before everything fell apart.
Inter’s conviction that Lukaku was only interested in joining them played a significant role in their readiness to continue discussions with Chelsea. The Belgian has already declined Saudi Arabia’s offers and told Inter that his only thought was returning to San Siro.
However, Inter executives now think that Lukaku and his group have discussed a potential summer transfer with other clubs, notably bitter rivals Juventus.
Such discussions are permitted and typical at this level of the negotiations, but Inter have been unhappy by the outcome because they thought Lukaku’s primary concern was rejoining the Nerazzurri, a message that sources claim came directly from the player. As a result, Inter told Chelsea that they were no longer interested in pursuing Lukaku and had ended negotiations. Lukaku’s preseason return was originally set for last week, but Chelsea postponed it until Monday in the hopes that a deal to sell the striker would have been reached before he even needed to return.
However, Lukaku is now anticipated to return to Cobham on Monday, despite Chelsea’s apparent lack of intention to include the Belgian in their preseason tour of the United States. Lukaku is instead considering all of his alternatives. Although the Belgian first refused to consider the bids, Juventus has talked about a summer transfer, and the Saudi offers have never been withdrawn. Even if it presently appears doubtful, sources at Chelsea still hold out hope that Inter may rekindle their interest if their relationship with Lukaku can be repaired.
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