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Chelsea’s hopes of offloading Romelu Lukaku back to Inter Milan have suffered a major blow after the Nerazzurri agreed to sign Paulo Dybala on a free transfer from Juventus, according to reports. The Belgian international has remained opportunistic about a return to the San Siro after rejoining Chelsea in a club-record £97.5million deal last summer.
Talks have taken place between the two clubs and Lukaku’s lawyer over an immediate move back to Inter but the switch now seems unlikely.
Gianluca Di Marzio recently reported that it’s one or the other as far as Inter are concerned when it comes to signing Lukaku or Dybala.
The Italian giants cannot afford both and it would also make little sense given that Lautaro Martinez is of huge importance.
Yet now TyC Sports journalist Cesar Luis Merlo, who is one of the most reliable when it comes to South American transfers, suggests Dybala’s move to Inter is as good as done.
He has reportedly already accepted a four-year contract in general terms.
There is some minor detail to resolve but the deal is now on course for completion, which will leave Lukaku wondering what happens next.
It’s been a difficult return to the Premier League for the 29-year-old, who managed just eight Premier League goals in 26 outings for the Blues.
Thomas Tuchel had previously indicated that Lukaku would be staying put over the summer but it’s clear they would listen to offers for their record acquisition.
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Inter were thought to be exploring a straight loan with no buy option, which is not really of any use to Chelsea besides the fact they would cover a percentage of his wages.
Chelsea are yet to show much signs of life in the transfer window but new attacking players are believed to be on the agenda.
Ousmane Dembele, who was coached by Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, is one of the names of interest.
Christopher Nkunku is also admired but he would cost an astronomical fee this summer.
Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech could also leave the club before the start of the 2022/23 season.
Inter are currently starved of cash due to their financial problems off the field.
The Serie A runners-up are looking to sell both Milan Skriniar and Denzel Dumfries to balance the books.
Their financial situation raises further questions as to whether a deal to re-sign Lukaku is financially viable.
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