Is Romelu Lukaku still a Chelsea player? Inter Milan loan deal and contract expiry
Is Romelu Lukaku still a Chelsea player? Inter Milan loan deal and contract expiry
Is Romelu Lukaku still a Chelsea player?

Romelu Lukaku is hoping to take a step closer to winning his first Champions League trophy as Inter Milan face AC Milan in the semi-final on Wednesday, May 10.

Although the Belgian striker was a Chelsea player during the Blues' European glory in 2012, he did not make a single appearance in the competition and refused the offer of a medal.

Lukaku is currently enjoying his second spell at Inter, but there is some uncertainty around his future with the summer window approaching. 

The Sporting News looks at Lukaku's contract situation and what the transfer window could hold for the forward.

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Is Romelu Lukaku still a Chelsea player?

Although Lukaku is playing for Inter again this season, he is still a Chelsea player as he is on loan at the Italian club.

The striker's return to London went sour quite quickly after an interview with Sky Italia in December 2021. He stated he was "not happy" with his situation at the club due to then manager Thomas Tuchel's tactics and said he wanted to return to Inter "in the near future".

The 29-year-old did return to the squad after initially being dropped, but not all Chelsea fans accepted his apology. He scored 13 goals in all competitions, with just eight in 26 league games.

Lukaku Inter Milan loan deal and contract expiration

In June 2022, Lukaku returned to Inter for a season long loan from Chelsea. The San Siro side reportedly paid close to £7 million for the Belgium international, who also took a pay cut to make the deal happen.

That means Lukaku will return to Chelsea when his loan deal with Inter expires on June 30, 2023. He still contracted to the Blues for another three seasons, with his deal finishing on June 30, 2026.

Lukaku has had 11 direct goal contributions in 21 Serie A games this season. His role is not as prominent as it was in the 2020/21 season as he is often rotated in the line-up along with Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko, and Joaquin Correa.

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Do Chelsea want to keep Lukaku?

After scoring twice and claiming an assist in Inter's 3-0 win over Empoli on April 23, Lukaku said he wants to stay at the club.

"I have an excellent relationship with the fans and I've always tried to give everything for Inter because it gave me the opportunity to win two years," he said. "Yes [I want to stay], but guys you have to pay attention to those things because other [talk]."

However, Lukaku may not get what he wants as Chelsea are in desperate need of a striker. The two-time Champions League winners are currently in the bottom half of the Premier League, partly down to a lack of firepower. Keeping Lukaku and playing him next season could save Todd Boehly a lot of money. 

Mauricio Pochettino wants Romelu Lukaku to relaunch his career at Stamford Bridge. He will present his plan to the player and give him some time to decide whether he would like to be involved in Chelsea’s new project, despite the player’s preference for life in Milan. (GdS)

— ChelsTransfer (@ChelsTransfer) May 4, 2023

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