Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia ‘not giving up’ on Romelu Lukaku despite Inter stance
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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia remains hopeful of bringing Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge this summer, according to reports. The 28-year-old has established himself as one of the finest marksmen in world football during his time at the San Siro and has been linked with a summer return to Chelsea as a result.
The Blues are determined to recruit a new striker to lead the line in advance of a renewed Premier League title challenge next season.
Olivier Giroud has already joined AC Milan on a permanent basis since the end of the previous campaign, while Tammy Abraham has seemingly been left out in the cold by Thomas Tuchel.
Kai Havertz, who has traditionally been deployed as an attacking midfielder, has been forced to adapt to a striking role in recent outings amid Timo Werner’s failure to hit the ground running since his move from RB Leipzig a year ago.
The addition of a new forward is believed to be high on Tuchel’s wish list this summer and the 47-year-old is reportedly a keen admirer of Lukaku, who was instrumental in helping Inter to clinch last season’s Serie A title.
The San Siro giants are currently in the midst of a financial crisis and may be forced to cash in on a number of their existing stars to balance the books.
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However, the sale of Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain has already raised around £54million and it remains to be seen whether any other key players will be allowed to leave this summer.
Lukaku recently underlined his desire to stay with Inter ahead of the new campaign, while the club are understood to be desperate to retain his services as they go in search of back-to-back domestic triumphs.
Despite the slim likelihood of a successful move for the Belgian, Chelsea are not prepared to give up the chase and see a ‘slight possibility’ that he will turn out for the Blues next season, according to the Daily Star.
The report claims that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, who is also believed to be a target for the Blues, is almost certain to remain in Germany for another year at least.
Chelsea have also explored the possibility of signing Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski, but the Bavarian giants are said to be keen on honouring the 32-year-old’s contract, which is set to expire in the summer of 2023.
The situation means that Lukaku is still being considered as an option by Tuchel and Granovskaia, but a nine-figure offer will likely be required to seal his return to west London after a seven-year absence.
It is believed that Inter would accept a fee of around £100m, but a slightly lower bid may be sufficient if the Italian champions are prepared to negotiate.
Chelsea have already seen two bids rejected, according to The Athletic, and it remains to be seen whether they will eventually return with an improved offer before the window slams shut at the end of next month.
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Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol recently urged Chelsea to drop their interest in Lukaku and look elsewhere for a new striker, citing the Inter man’s failure to assert himself at Stamford Bridge during his previous spell at the club.
“Chelsea are in a position now where if they sign a centre-forward, he has to be a natural finisher,” Nicol told ESPN FC.
“That’s the one thing they’re missing. As many goals as Lukaku has, he’s not a natural finisher. He has been at Chelsea twice before.”
Chelsea will begin their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on August 14 as Tuchel aims to follow up last season’s Champions League triumph with a return to the top of the domestic pile.
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