Chelsea confirm club-record £97.5m deal for Romelu Lukaku from Inter


Romelu Lukaku poses with Chelsea shirt

Romelu Lukaku has returned to Stamford Bridge (Picture: Chelsea FC)

Chelsea have confirmed the club-record signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in a deal worth £97.5million, ending their long pursuit of a new frontman to spearhead the attack.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel had made a new striker his top transfer priority this summer but the club were unable to prise number one target Erling Haaland away from Borussia Dortmund.

That saw them turn to Lukaku, who spent three years at the club previously, and despite Inter being very reluctant to sell they managed to secure a mammoth deal for the Belgian.

The 28-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year contract in west London.

Chelsea confirm club-record £97.5m deal for Romelu Lukaku from Inter

Lukaku first joined Chelsea in 2011 from Anderlecht (Picture: Getty)

On the forward’s arrival, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘Romelu Lukaku is quite simply one of the world’s best strikers and goalscorers.

‘We are absolutely delighted to be bringing him back to the club he loves, and are excited to be adding his talent to our Champions League-winning squad.

‘We are of course looking to build on last season’s success, and Lukaku will play a big role in achieving our targets.

‘I’m sure all Chelsea fans will join me in saying welcome home, Romelu!’

The Belgian has put pen to paper on a five-year deal in west London (Picture: Chelsea FC)

The fee falls just short of the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish earlier this month, though eclipses the previous club-record sum Chelsea paid Bayer Leverkusen to sign Kai Havertz last summer.

Despite saying he was happy to stay at Inter earlier this year, Lukaku changed his stance more recently and asked Inter to accept Chelsea’s offer.

Lukaku enjoyed a superb campaign last season, netting 24 goals in 33 Serie A appearances – only Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo managed more – as he fired Inter to the Scudetto.

Lukaku completed the first part of his medical in Milan on Monday before flying to London to pen to paper on a five-year contract.

The Belgian first moved to Stamford Bridge as a teenager in 2011 from Anderlecht, enjoying two strong loans at West Brom and Everton before being sold to the Toffees after just three years.

Chelsea confirm club-record £97.5m deal for Romelu Lukaku from Inter

Lukaku helped fire Inter to the title in Serie A last season (Picture: Getty)

He almost re-joined Chelsea in 2017, though eventually opted to join Manchester United in a £75m deal instead – and the Red Devils are due to earn around £4m from his latest transfer due to a sell-on clause.

Lukaku’s return to Chelsea is the fifth major transfer of his career and that means he is now the most expensive player in history in terms of accumulated transfer fees, with teams having spent £293.5m on him across the last decade – eclipsing the £246.6m spent on second-placed Neymar.

The striker netted 47 goals in 72 Serie A appearances during his two seasons with Inter, as well as laying on 13 assists, and Tuchel will hope Lukaku can provide the clinical edge his side lacked last season.

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MORE : Roma boss Jose Mourinho eyes transfer move for Chelsea striker and Arsenal target Tammy Abraham

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