Chelsea has reached a transfer decision on Romelu Lukaku’s contract as they formulate a new transfer strategy.
According to the plans, the club is not likely to cut short Romelu Lukaku’s loan at Inter Milan, according to Fabrizio Romano, who said that a fresh plan has been discussed.
The 29-year-old Lukaku became Chelsea’s record acquisition when he arrived from Inter Milan in 2021.
The Belgian international cost the Blues a whopping £97.5 million, but failed to live up to expectations despite an impressive start against Arsenal and Ben White.
Last season, he scored 15 goals in 44 matches. A ratio of around one in three is not a catastrophe, but it is below the production expected from such expensive signings.
In addition, Lukaku lost out with former manager Thomas Tuchel. He spoke out against the Germans’ use of him in the Italian media, and his performance plummeted upon his return from the cold.
Therefore, a summer loan return to Inter Milan was authorized.
Former director Marina Granovskaia, one of several prominent behind-the-scenes executives ousted by the new ownership, authorized the move.
Given Chelsea’s problems in the last third, this prompted rumours that Lukaku’s loan could be shortened.
Romano indicates that Chelsea has no plans to bring him back in January. Instead, the transfer expert disclosed that conversations regarding a one-year extension of the loan period have already begun.
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“Inter and Chelsea have an agreement on a one-year loan with no buy option included,” Romano said on his YouTube channel.
“But they already discussed a potential second year of the loan. It’ll depend on many factors, but they already verbally discussed the possibility of a second year.
“Let’s see what happens, but for now there are no plans to bring Romelu Lukaku back off loan.”
The Blues did receive a loan fee of £6.9 million from Inter, which might increase if they win Serie A.
If Lukaku’s loan is prolonged, it is likely that a similar deal will be arranged, despite Romano’s silence on the matter.
Since Lukaku’s contract does not expire until 2026, Chelsea is under no immediate obligation to cut connections completely.
Fabrizio Romano names player who could depart in January
Romano also shed light on Trevoh Chalobah, a player who could depart in January.
The 23-year-old central defender made 30 appearances in all competitions during his breakout season in 2017-18.
Chalobah aspires to become not only a regular starter but also a vital part of the Chelsea backline.
Both Milan clubs and RB Leipzig were interested in loaning this player over the summer, as the outlook for this goal was dismal.
Chalobah was ultimately retained, despite having made just one appearance this season. Clearly, he must sacrifice something if he wants to realize his aspirations and shed the label of benchwarmer.
Romano stated, emphasizing that Chalobah could leave in the upcoming transfer window, “During the summer [he] wanted a move. He wanted a move on loan just to play, he wants to play.
“He wants to be a regular starter and have good gametime. He’s a young and talented player and wants to find some space to show and improve his skills.
“But at the end, despite negotiating with Inter Milan, AC Milan and RB Leipzig [and] despite signing Wesley Fofana Chelsea decided to keep Chalobah.
“They were waiting for the Fofana deal before giving Chalobah the green light, but they decided to keep him.”
Romano added: “At the moment he’s not finding any space at Chelsea – this is an important point.
“He wants to not only be a starter but an important player for Chelsea.
“I’m told there are already some conversations around with clubs still interested in Chalobah. There is a chance for him to leave the club in January.
Romano then indicated all possibilities are available at present, such as a direct loan, a loan with an option to buy, or a sale with a buyback option.
“At the moment, nothing is advanced,” concluded Romano. “But at the moment there is a serious possibility for Chalobah to leave if the situation (over his minutes) continues.”