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SERIE A

Lukaku starting from scratch again as Inter fans send message

The Belgian ends a disappointing season at Chelsea with an imminent return to Inter, whose fans have warned him: “No longer a king, just one of many.”

Update:
Romelu Lukaku, in an image as an Inter player, where he is very close to returning a year later.
ALESSANDRO GAROFALOREUTERS

Romelu Lukaku has lived through an absurd year. In the next few days, Inter will finalise his incredible comeback, which will cost around 10 million euros (variables included) for his loan from Chelsea, who had paid 115 million euros just a year ago for his services. His goodbye to the Nerazzurri in 2021 had already caused a lot of controversy due to the sudden way in which it arrived.

Lukaku: back to Inter after Chelsea failure

On 2 June last year the Belgian declared: “I’m staying at Inter, I’ve already spoken with the new coach and the conversation was positive”. After these words, however, the negotiation with Chelsea began, and his incorporation into the London club followed on 12 August. The tifosi, enraged, called him a traitor and canceled the murals that had been dedicated to him, as the striker expressed his joy at having returned to the club he had adored since he was a child.

The latest adventure did not start well, though, and in December the first bomb exploded. Lukaku spoke on Sky Italia apologizing to the Inter fans and stating that he hoped to return to Inter, not at the end of his career, but at a good level, to continue winning. Nothing would be the same after that interview. His relationship with Chelsea was broken, and with Thomas Tuchel who, in April, acknowledged that the partnership with the striker “has not worked.”

His numbers made it clear: 44 games, 15 goals and two assists. Far too few for a player who cost more than 100 million euros. In the spring, another split, this time with Federico Pastorello, the agent with whom he achieved two record transfers in 24 months (totalling 190 million euros), a five-year contract with Inter for 39.5 million net plus variables, a five-year contract with Chelsea for 60 million net plus variables, his first three trophies, the first league MVP (Serie A 2020/21) and UEFA (Europa League 2019/20), and the first nomination in the top 25 for the Ballon d’Or of his career.

The Italian agent criticized Tuchel’s management of the player in La Repubblica saying, “he is the best scorer in the squad despite having a much lower number of minutes compared to his teammates,” and Lukaku didn’t like that. The striker responded bluntly on Instagram: “Nobody speaks for me. I was quiet and focused on helping the team to finish the season in the best way. If someone talks about me, they should not do it on my behalf.”

From then on, it was the lawyer Sébastien Ledure who represented him during the new negotiation with Inter, which has taken a step closer to completion.

Lukaku starting from scratch again with Inter

His imminent return to Italy, however, has not sparked the same passion for the Inter fans. The ultras of the Curva Nord posted a statement on their social media platforms warning Lukaku.

“There will be no protests against the player, but no one should go to welcome him with scarves or flags of the Curva. He will have to earn what happens next with humility and hard work. We treated him like a King, now he’s one of many, although we will never cheer against him if he wears the Inter shirt again.”

Lukaku, who’s decision to return to Milan involved going from a salary of 15 million (variables included) to one of nine million net, will have to start almost from scratch. Once again.

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