Romelu Lukaku is the most expensive purchase in Chelsea's history, which is not poor in noble transfers, but the Belgian quickly becomes a misunderstanding: he will soon lose his regular place under Thomas Tuchel, an interview causes trouble. Now they go their separate ways for at least a year.
Star striker Romelu Lukaku is apparently leaving Chelsea for the second time in his career: the club of German coach Thomas Tuchel is loaning the Belgian national soccer striker to Inter Milan for a season. According to Sky, the Italians pay a rental fee of eight million euros, plus bonus payments of four million euros. Chelsea had originally asked for a lot more, wanted to get one of the top earners off the payroll in the hapless acting Lukaku. In London, the 29-year-old still has a contract until June 30, 2026, a purchase option has not been agreed.
With the transfer, Lukaku becomes a record player: As the portal transfermarkt.de calculated, the Belgian earned transfer fees of 333.5 million euros in his career from the start of the loan - more than any other professional footballer. Lukaku already played for Inter from 2019 to 2021 and won the championship with the Milanese, among other things. The Italians paid €74m for Lukaku to Manchester United, who in turn signed him from Everton in the summer of 2017 for €84m. Lukaku's journey began in 2011 with a EUR 15 million move from RSC Anderlecht to Chelsea. After a loan to West Brom in 2012 and another to Everton in 2013, the Beatles-based Toffees signed him on for €35.4m in the summer of 2014.
In the summer of 2021, after a strong European Championship with four goals in five games, Lukaku switched from Inter Milan back to Stamford Bridge for 113 million euros, making him the most expensive player in the history of the club, which had been upgraded with billions from the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich . But the massive striker fell far short of the high expectations in terms of sport: he only played 26 Premier League games (eight goals) last season, and he only scored twice in the Champions League.
At the end of 2021, just a few months after his arrival, an interview with "Sky Sports Italia" caused a lot of trouble in London: "After two years in Italy, during which I worked a lot with coaches and nutrition experts at Inter Milan, I'm here Physically very good, even better than before. But I'm not happy with the situation here in London, that's normal," said Lukaku - adding: "I hope with all my heart that I'll return to Inter, but not on At the end of my career, but when I'm still good enough to win more titles."
Tuchel reacted angrily to his striker's statements: "We don't like it, I don't like it because it's noise that we don't need. We need a quiet environment and concentration and that's not helpful. I don't feel like that he's unhappy. That's why I would say it's a surprise. If there's something to talk about, it's behind closed doors" - the world coach scolded and removed Lukaku from his squad for the next league game against Liverpool.
Later they pulled themselves together again: "He apologized," announced Tuchel a few days after his striker was briefly ousted. "We're glad we took the time to look at it and talk about it calmly." The matter is "not as big as people might want to make it," added Tuchel. "While it's not small, it's small enough to remain calm, accept an apology and move on."
However, the record goalscorer for the Belgian national team was not able to take off at Chelsea afterwards: Lukaku only scored three goals in 13 Premier League appearances. Meanwhile, Inter Milan could not prevent local rivals AC Milan from clinching their first Italian championship in eleven years - the Nerazzurri only managed to finish runners-up.