Romelu Lukaku Returns to Chelsea After Seven Year Absence in £97.5m Deal

Romelu Lukaku has returned to Chelsea after a seven-year absence following completion of a £97.5m deal from Inter Milan. 

Lukaku joins on a five-year contract until June 2026 in a £97.5m deal from Inter Milan, where he helped the La Beneamata lift last season’s Serie A title with 24 league goals, as he netted 64 goals in 95 appearances across all competitions since signing from Manchester United in August 2019.

This transfer marks Lukaku’s second spell at Stamford Bridge after failing to score 15 appearances between 2011-14, amidst loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Everton in 2012-13 and 13-14 seasons before joining the Toffees permanently in July 2014

Lukaku went on to net 87 goals in 166 appearances for Everton before being snapped up by Man Utd in July 2017, where he scored 42 goals in 96 appearances until he was sold to Inter two years later after failing to feature in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future plans at Old Trafford.

The £97.5m fee meanwhile makes Lukaku the Premier League’s second most expensive signing, after Manchester City signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m earlier in August.

Speaking on his return to Stamford Bridge after seven years away from West-London, Lukaku said: “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 Belgian striker also described the special bond that he had with Chelsea, commenting: “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.

“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together.”

Lukaku also reflected on his “long journey” away from Chelsea in which there were plenty of highs and lows but admitted that “these experiences made me strong” as he looks to help Chelsea win further trophies after tasting Serie A glory in Italy last season at Inter with the title and Golden Boot award.

Chelsea Director, Marina Granovskaia added that the club is “absolutely delighted” to welcome Lukaku back as a key addition to boost the club’s squad as they look to build on their Champions League title winning squad of last season.

Explaining the club’s aims this season, Granovskaia said: “We are of course looking to build on last season’s success, and Lukaku will play a big role in achieving our targets.”

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