Chelsea ready to subsidise Romelu Lukaku wages to push through summer exit as new striker targeted

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chelsea are willing to subsidise Romelu Lukaku’s wages in order to allow the striker to leave the club on loan, but would still demand that last summer’s marquee signing take a significant pay cut.

Lukaku is hopeful of securing a return to Inter Milan just 12 months after his £97.5million switch to Stamford Bridge following a miserable campaign.

The Belgian finished the season as Chelsea’s top scorer with 15 goals in all competitions, but made just 16 Premier League starts, with his second spell at the club plagued by form and fitness issues, as well as the fallout from a controversial interview in which he professed his love for Inter and questioned his use by head coach Thomas Tuchel.

The 29-year-old reportedly earns more than £200,000-a-week at the Bridge, with Inter unable to afford either to cover the entirety of that salary or to fund a permanent transfer.

Chelsea would also demand a substantial loan fee from the Italian giants, who Lukaku helped fire to the Serie A title in 2020/21 under Antonio Conte.

Kai Havertz ended the season as Tuchel’s preferred option at centre-forward but after missing out on Erling Haaland, Chelsea would look to bring in a specialist replacement for Lukaku were he to leave the club this summer, with new owner Todd Boehly ready to sanction a £200m rebuild in the transfer market.

Tuchel is also expected to give Armando Broja, who impressed on loan at Southampton this term, a chance to impress during pre-season.

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