Tuchel coy when quizzed on Chelsea's Lukaku links
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Chelsea are confident of finding a breakthrough in their bid to land Romelu Lukaku by Sunday. Roman Abramovich’s club were locked in talks with Inter on Friday over a deal for the Belgium international striker.
Inter want a cash-only deal for the 28-year-old, while Chelsea are still keen on a player exchange switch.
The Serie A club have already rejected an £85million offer from Chelsea which included Spain defender Marcos Alonso.
Inter want around £102m for Lukaku, who has told them he wants to return to Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea were on Friday night keen to offer other players in exchange to unlock a deal.
Lukaku, who Chelsea sold to Everton seven years ago for £28m, trained with Inter on Friday.
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Inter boss Simone Inzaghi, who has been angered by Lukaku’s change of heart after the striker had previously said he was happy in Milan, wants any deal sorted out quickly.
Inter’s main target if Lukaku does go is Atalanta’s Colombian striker Duvan Zapata – and Atalanta in turn want Chelsea’s £40m striker Tammy Abraham.
The England striker is also though being chased by Arsenal and Southampton having too been linked to West Ham this summer.
Chelsea meanwhile would like to get Lukaku in place to even play in Wednesday night’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Villarreal in Belfast on Wednesday.
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Thomas Tuchel’s side then kickstart their Premier League campaign at home to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace the following Saturday.
Asked about Lukaku after a pre-season draw with Arsenal, Chelsea boss Tuchel hinted that the Belgian would be a welcome addition to his squad.
“I will not talk about players who don’t play in my squad,” the German said.
“Romelu Lukaku is a fantastic player but he’s an Inter player and, with all due respect, I will not talk about him in this situation.
“Everyone wants to come, hopefully! Well, not everyone unfortunately but you can imagine a lot of players want to come and join. But like I said, we will not comment on that.
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“With the exit of Olivier Giroud, we could use a type player who is used to playing with their back to the goal and can keep possession out of long balls as that means we can add this direct style of play to our portfolio.
“That isn’t Timo [Werner], it’s not Tammy [Abraham], it’s not Kai [Havertz]. So this is a profile we don’t have in the squad that can be useful.
“But not for any cost and not in panic. No matter what happens, we will be competitive and we have trust in our guys.
“We still have young players in the offensive part of the game from whom we demand improvement. So we are relaxed and well aware of our situation at the same time.”
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