Lukaku returns to Chelsea in reported €115M transfer from Inter
Romelu Lukaku is back at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues reportedly paid a club-record €115 million to re-sign a player who was on their books from 2011-14. Lukaku left the west London outfit after only 10 Premier League appearances and a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.
The mammoth fee eclipses the initial £72 million Chelsea splashed last summer to recruit Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.
"I'm happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club," Lukaku said after inking a five-year contract. "It's been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I'm coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.
"The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling."
Lukaku is coming off a spectacular - and brief - stint in Serie A. He scored 47 league goals in two dominant campaigns with the Nerazzurri, leading them to their first Scudetto in over a decade last season.
Prior to his time in Italy, he had prolific tenures at Manchester United and Everton.
Lukaku initially stated that he wanted to remain with Inter but changed his tune earlier this month and reportedly asked the club's directors to sanction a return to Chelsea. Negotiations developed quickly from there. Chelsea took advantage of the Italian club's crippling financial situation; Inter were forced to sell Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain in July after having already watched manager Antonio Conte depart, too.
The allure of working with Thomas Tuchel also reportedly helped sway Lukaku.
The Belgian superstar figures to slot directly into the German tactician's starting lineup, assuming the No. 9 role and allowing Timo Werner to move into a more comfortable position playing to the left of a central striker and using his blistering pace to exploit spaces down the wing.
Having forged an impressive partnership with Lautaro Martinez at the San Siro, Tuchel will be hoping Lukaku strikes up a similar accord with Werner.
Chelsea, the reigning Champions League winners, will look to capture their first Premier League title since 2017.