Incoming Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi has reportedly already made contact with star man Romelu Lukaku as he looks to ward off suitors and keep the striker at the club.
Lukaku had been tipped to leave following Antonio Conte’s departure from the San Siro earlier this month. The pair have formed a close bond, with the Belgium hitman crediting the Italian for helping to revitalise his career. The 28-year-old left Manchester United to join the Nerazzurri in August 2019.
A return of 42 goals from 96 appearances in all competitions was deemed insufficient at Old Trafford. He still had three years left on his Red Devils contract and Inter are said to have paid €80 million for his signature.
But it has certainly been money well spent, as the powerful forward has been scoring goals for fun. After notching 31 in his first season, the former Everton forward found the net on 30 occasions in 2020-2021.
He scored 24 Serie A goals and has 47 across two league campaigns. Unsurprisingly, he is now one of the hottest properties in European football.
And Chelsea have been linked with a summer swoop. Lukaku was on the Stamford Bridge books between 2011 and 2014.
However, he was used sparingly, enjoying only 15 outings while spending 2012-13 on loan at West Brom. But it seems as though the European champions now want him back in west London.
Despite lifting the Scudetto, Inter appeared open to selling their talisman. A report by Corriere dello Sport earlier in May suggested they would be willing to part company.
However, any interested party would need to fork out €120m (£102.9m) for the Belgian.
Inzaghi wants Lukaku on board
It had been rumoured that Conte would like to take Lukaku to Tottenham if the Italian was unveiled as the next Spurs manager. The Chelsea link has also surfaced and may have gained some weight after the Blues Champions League triumph.
And, with that in mind, Inzaghi has contacted his star man to reassure him about the club’s ‘project’. Gazzetta dello Sport claim that the 45-year-old, who has just left Lazio after five years, has also spoken to other players.
It is said he contacted Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio last week before turning his attention to Lukaku. Lukaku was reportedly ‘very pleased’ with Inzaghi’s call and will meet his new boss in July after the European Championship.
Inzaghi wanted to reassure the front man about the direction in which the club is heading after Conte’s departure. It is still not known if the former Anderlecht man will stay.
But Chelsea’s hopes of poaching the talented striker seem to be dwindling.
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