Romelu Lukaku ‘was moved to tears’ when Inter Milan reached an agreement with Chelsea over a season-long loan that fulfils his wish to return to the San Siro.
Inter will pay Chelsea £7million plus add-ons, with Lukaku reportedly taking a 35 per cent pay cut on his wages of £325,000-a-week at Stamford Bridge, taking the figure to around £210,000.
The Belgian striker, 29, will go back to Inter just a year after leaving for a second stint at Chelsea in a club record deal worth £97.5million.
It follows a thoroughly underwhelming first season back in which he scored just 15 times in 44 matches and disrupted the club’s campaign by giving a television interview in December in which he criticised manager Thomas Tuchel.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport report that Lukaku became emotional when informed by his lawyer Sebastien Ledure that a breakthrough had been reached in negotiations between Chelsea and Inter on Tuesday.
It came after talks stalled on Monday when the Inter president Steven Zhang attempted to restructure the deal. But Lukaku will have a medical at Inter next week to confirm the move.
Lukaku is contracted at Stamford Bridge until 2026 but his desire to make a return to Inter has been evident since his infamous Sky Italia interview.
It also emerged in Italy this week that Lukaku set the wheels in motion for his Inter return by calling manager Simone Inzaghi on his birthday back in April and asking: ‘Mister, what do I need to do to come back?’
The conversation came the day before Chelsea played a crunch Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid, in which Lukaku missed a good chance to score, and he didn’t find the net for over a month afterwards.
Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly wanted the Lukaku deal done quickly so the club can concentrate on their pursuit of summer targets, including Manchester City and England winger Raheem Sterling.
They want a deal for Sterling completed as quickly as possible, too, so that he can have a full pre-season with Tuchel and his new team-mates.
Lukaku enjoyed two successful seasons at Inter between 2019 and 2021, scoring 64 times in 95 matches and winning the league title in 2020-21.