Lukaku returns to Inter on loan after disappointing year with Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku is going back to another old flame.
Less than a year after he returned to Chelsea - the club that discarded him after just 10 league appearances in 2014 - for a huge €115-million fee, Lukaku has made a U-turn and is back at Inter Milan on a season-long loan.
To complete Wednesday's switch, Inter parted with an €8-million loan fee and will potentially pay a further €4 million to Chelsea in performance-related bonuses, according to figures from The Guardian's Fabrizio Romano.
The Belgian striker has reportedly agreed for his annual net salary to fall from €12 million to €8 million as part of the deal. Inter have no option or obligation to turn the loan agreement into a permanent transfer when the 2022-23 campaign is over.
Lukaku has four years remaining on his Chelsea contract.
The 29-year-old's temporary move comes after he mustered a disappointing tally of eight goals over 26 Premier League appearances last term. In addition to his low-scoring campaign, Lukaku harmed his relationship with head coach Thomas Tuchel and the club when he said he was unhappy with the team's tactics during an unauthorized interview in December.
He suffered a Premier League scoring drought of over four months to begin 2022.
"There's a history of strikers struggling a little bit at Chelsea," Tuchel offered in February after Lukaku touched the ball just seven times over the entirety of the Blues' 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
But he certainly didn't struggle at Inter. Lukaku enjoyed the most fruitful period of his career in Italy, netting 47 goals and collecting numerous individual awards over two Serie A campaigns. His second season culminated with Inter winning their first Scudetto since 2010.
"I am convinced that I am in a team that can do great things," Lukaku said three months before re-signing for Chelsea. "We can still win and grow, start a new cycle."
After his sojourn in London, Lukaku now has the opportunity to start that new cycle in Milan.
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