Romelu Lukaku “untouchable” with Chelsea interested in summer transfer

Any hopes Chelsea had of luring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge this summer appear to have been quashed by Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta.

A divisive figure during his Premier League days, it always felt that the jury was still out on his playing ability despite bagging more than 100 league goals over the course of stints at Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and Man Utd.

However, there is little doubt nowadays, with the Belgian forward going on to establish himself as one of the most lethal strikers on the continent since joining the Italian giants in 2019 from Old Trafford.

Lukaku was an integral part of Inter’s success last season, as he helped the Nerazurri end nine years of Juventus dominance by notching 24 goals in 36 Serie A games as Inter won their first league title in 11 years.

The former Chelsea man enjoyed a great relationship with another former Blues favourite in manager Antonio Conte, who walked away from his post as Inter manager at the end of last season due to financial troubles leaving the side with little choice but to cash in on some of their talent.

Achraf Hakimi has already been sold to French giants Paris Saint-Germain for £60m in a bid to boost funds, but Lukaku is thought to be one of the few Inter stars not up for sale.Marotta told Italian outlet Mediaset (via Fabrizio Romano): “Romelu Lukaku is untouchable for us this summer, absolutely. He’s a key player for Inter.”

This news comes amid reports that Chelsea were planning on launching a bid to re-sign Lukaku who was identified as a cheaper alternative to main Blues target Erling Haaland.

Lukaku struggled to hit his best form during his stay in West London, but ex-Chelsea star Ashley Cole has since claimed that “no one respected” the forward while he was at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to ITV during Euro 2020, Cole said: “He joined as a kid, he joined as a 17-year-old. [He was] a raw talent, his game understanding was not great. Didier Drogba was his kind of father figure who used to help him in terms of developing his technique and understanding of movement.

“And then I think the two loans really gave him that self belief that he was good enough. Yes, he was still young but he still had a point to prove.

“I think no one kind of respected him at Chelsea, in terms of the fans. When he did play, was he going to be the top striker for Chelsea? He had Didier Drogba in front of him.”

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