Romelu Lukaku completed a season-long loan move from Chelsea to Inter Milan on Wednesday, just a year after his disastrous transfer from Italy to the Premier League team.
After Chelsea agreed to a rumored deal in which Inter will pay an initial eight million euros plus perhaps three million in bonuses for the loan, Belgium striker Lukaku will be reunited with his former supporters at the San Siro.
A “season-long loan move” was confirmed by the London club in a statement.
When speaking to chairman Steven Zhang on the roof of the club’s offices, Lukaku said, “We’re back baby,” making his return official in a video released on Inter’s social media platforms.
After reportedly accepting a pay cut to 8.5 million euros for the upcoming season, the 29-year-old will once more spearhead Inter’s assault as they aim to win back the Serie A championship.
According to Italian media, Inter and Chelsea have a gentleman’s understanding that, should the transfer succeed, the loan might be extended for another season. His lawyer, Sebastien Ledure, remarked on Wednesday that “anything can happen” between now and the end of the next campaign.
“It’s really emotional,” Lukaku later said on Inter’s TV channel.
“Inter have given me a lot and I hope that from now I can do even better than before… I didn’t give up my home when I left for England and I think that tells you something.”
In the early hours of Wednesday, Lukaku told reporters at the airport in Milan’s Linate that he was “very happy” to be back.
On his approach to finishing his medical exams in the afternoon, he was hailed by ecstatic fans, who blocked his car and chanted, “Win us the Scudetto!” as he passed.
Following a £97.5 million transfer from Inter last summer, Lukaku failed to live up to the lofty expectations after failing to make an impression at Chelsea for a second time.
After scoring 64 goals in 95 games and leading Inter to their first Serie A championship in more than ten years in 2021, he won the heart of the Inter fans and ended Juventus’ dominance of Italian football.
However, coach Antonio Conte left the team nearly as soon as the championship was claimed due to financial issues with Inter’s owners, the Suning Group, which were made worse by the coronavirus outbreak.
When the then-European champions Chelsea offered a sizable payment to help Inter’s financial difficulties, Lukaku followed Conte out the door. With Simone Inzaghi, Conte’s replacement, only a few weeks into his new position, a loan was the only way for Lukaku to return.
He was unable to duplicate his Serie A success with the Blues, and in December he gave an interview to Sky Sport Italia in which he expressed his desire to rejoin Inter, which upset Chelsea supporters.
Due to his departure to Chelsea, which they saw as a betrayal of his declaration that he loved the Milanese club, Inter’s hard-core ultras declared they were not interested in having him return after hearing his statements.
They instructed other supporters not to greet Lukaku upon his return because he was now “just one of many,” but many who slept outside in the sweltering summer heat as the striker concluded his medicals at the Milan offices of the Italian Olympic Committee disregarded their advice.
Milan Skriniar, a talented defender, is apparently set to be moved this summer as part of Inter’s ongoing cost-cutting efforts. A forward line that is overworked and overpaid also has to be reduced.
They will profit from law that, under certain circumstances, provides large tax breaks for foreign residents, but Lukaku’s arrival has stymied Inter’s attempt to recruit Argentine forward and free agent Paulo Dybala.