Chelsea remain determined to sign Lukaku despite Inter having rejected a second offer of £85m for the Belgian, which would have also seen left-back Marcos Alonso move to the Serie A club; an offer of between £94m and £102m could convince Inter chairman Steven Zhang to sell.
Romelu Lukaku has told Inter Milan he would like them to accept a suitable offer for him from Chelsea.
Chelsea remain determined to re-sign the Belgium striker despite Inter having rejected a second offer of £85m for the 28-year-old, which would have also seen left-back Marcos Alonso move to the Serie A club, according to Sky in Italy.
The reigning European champions had already seen a first offer rebuffed by Inter and it is understood neither proposal had made the Italian club change their mind about selling Lukaku.
An offer of between £94m (€110m) and £102m (€120m) could convince Inter chairman Steven Zhang to sell.
Premier League rivals Manchester City had also registered their interest in signing Lukaku earlier this year, but no offer was made as Inter showed no intention of selling at the time.
Tuchel: Lukaku a fantastic player
Speaking after his side’s pre-season friendly against Tottenham on Wednesday evening, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to directly address the transfer situation but described Lukaku as a “fantastic player”.
“I will not talk about players who don’t play in my squad,” Tuchel said. “And Romelu Lukaku is a fantastic player but he’s a player from Inter and it’s with all the respect I will not talk about him in this situation.
Asked about Lukaku having expressed his desire to return to Stamford Bridge, Tuchel added: “Everybody wants to come (to Chelsea) hopefully. Not everybody unfortunately, but you can imagine that a lot of players want to come and join.
“The board is not offering players. That’s not the way it works so far. We’re talking with the board about players and if our opinions and the scouts conclude, then we target players who, in all our opinion, could make our squad stronger, which is quite a challenge to find.
“We don’t only talk about talent but also attitude because we have a strong squad and there are some players of which we think they could be a good target and good add-ons and good improvement in our squad.”
Lukaku played a key role in Inter’s Serie A win last season, scoring 24 goals.
Inter need to reduce their wage bill this summer and title-winning boss Antonio Conte left the club in May amid concerns about plans to cut his budget.
Chelsea are determined to sign a world-class striker and their other main target this summer has been Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
Lukaku previously spent three years at Chelsea after signing from Anderlecht as a teenager in 2011.
However, he made only 15 appearances for the club – failing to score a goal – before moving to Everton for £28m in July 2014.
He was close to a return in July 2017 but opted to join Manchester United for £75m. Inter signed him from United for £73m two years ago.
‘Lukaku deal getting closer and closer’
“If you’re a Chelsea supporter, you should now be thinking that this deal for Romelu Lukaku is getting closer and closer. What has happened today is that he’s told Inter Milan that he would like them to accept a suitable offer from Chelsea for him.
“He’s let it be known to Inter that he would like them to listen to what Chelsea have to say and if they can make them an offer that is acceptable and agreeable, then he would like to move to Chelsea.
“This is a crucial development today. We know that he’s been happy at Inter and that he has a great relationship with people at the club and the fans but he’s now made his stance known.
“If Chelsea were to offer 120m euros, I’m told it would be impossible for Inter to turn that down.”
What does Lukaku deal mean for Haaland?
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:
“It’s a very good question as Chelsea were very interested in Haaland. Who knows, they could still be interested. Could you see a situation where they could try to break the bank by bringing in Haaland and Romelu Lukaku? That seems unlikely.
“This could drag on into next summer. Borussia Dortmund have said that there’s no gentleman’s agreement with Haaland as there was with Jadon Sancho. All of the noises coming out of Germany are saying that Dortmund won’t sell both those players in the same transfer window.
“Haaland has a release clause that kicks in next summer. With Man City in for Harry Kane and Chelsea in for Lukaku, where does that leave those two clubs with regards to Haaland? Maybe they both feel they could pair those players with Haaland but next summer there will be more clubs who could afford him.”
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.
New series: Football’s Cult Heroes
Football’s Cult Heroes is a brand new podcast series exploring the stories of the players that carried their clubs on their backs – on and off the pitch.
Told by the players, fans and journalists that were there – we delve into why these players created such a strong bond with their fans and how they are still remembered years on.
Black Stars Head Coach CK Akonnor sacked
The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association has taken a decision to terminate the appointment of Black Stars Coach Charles Akonnor and his two Assistants with immediate effect.
This follows the receipt of the Technical Report from the Head Coach of the Senior National Team and the report from the Black Stars Management Committee following Ghana’s Group G World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa.
The Executive Council after considering the two reports have decided to terminate its relationship with the Head Coach C. K Akonnor and the two Assistants.
The Executive Council has formed a three (3) Member Committee made up of Vice President Mark Addo, Upper East Regional Football Association Chairman, Alhaji Salifu Zida and Dr. Randy Abbey to find a Head Coach and Assistant Coaches for the Black Stars within the next 72 hours.
The Association wishes C.K Akonnor and his Assistants the very best in their future endeavours.
Ghana currently have three (3) points after the two opening matches.
The Black Stars will take on Zimbabwe in the next round of games in October 2021.
Andy Murray: Emma Raducanu win provides ‘huge opportunity’ for British tennis
Kent teenager Emma Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown; fellow Briton Andy Murray was asked about the 18-year-old after his Rennes Open first-round victory over Yannick Maden
Andy Murray has hailed Emma Raducanu’s “incredible” US Open win and spoken of a “huge opportunity” for British tennis.
Kent teenager Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown.
Fellow Briton Murray was asked about the 18-year-old at a press conference on Monday after his Rennes Open first-round victory over Yannick Maden.
The three-time grand slam winner said: “It was incredible what she did there. I think for a lot of the people involved in British tennis, we knew she was extremely good.
“She hadn’t competed much for the last sort of 18 months or so with school and coronavirus and those sorts of things, but I think at Wimbledon (where Raducanu reached the fourth round) everyone sort of got a bit of a glimpse of how good she could be.
“I’ve spent a little bit of time around her on the practice court, but more so in the same building, training close to each other, and watching what she’s doing, and she’s obviously really, really good.
“But what she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and gives hopefully the governing bodies an opportunity to capitalise on that and get more and more kids involved in the sport.
“It’s great what she did and a huge opportunity for British tennis now.”
Antoine Griezmann: Atletico Madrid re-sign French forward on loan from Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in £103m deal two years ago; forward returns to Atletico on a season-long loan; Sky Italy and Barcelona say Atletico have obligation to make deal permanent next summer, but Atletico say they instead have the option to extend the loan
Antoine Griezmann has completed his shock Deadline Day return to Atletico Madrid on loan from Barcelona.
Atletico and Barcelona said there was an option to extend the loan for a further season, with the Catalan club adding the Madrid side also had an obligation to make the deal permanent. Sky in Italy reports this permanent deal would cost £34.4m (€40m).
Atletico were able to move for the 30-year-old after sanctioning Saul Niguez’s departure to Chelsea on an initial loan with an option to buy worth £33.4m (€38.9m) overall.
Diego Simeone was keen to sign a new striker and Griezmann will have no difficulty settling back at Atletico, having worked under the Argentine between 2014 and 2019.
Barcelona stated that Atletico have agreed to pay Griezmann’s wages in full.
The 2018 World Cup-winner joined Barcelona from Atletico on a £103m deal two years ago and scored 35 goals in 102 appearances for the club.
However, he has only won the Copa del Rey during his time at the Nou Camp, and the Catalan giants have been trying to lighten their wage bill this summer due to debts amounting to £1.15billion, as confirmed by club president Joan Laporta earlier in August.
The club’s reported financial struggles meant they were unable to offer Lionel Messi a new contract, prompting his shock exit to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
On Tuesday, the club announced stalwarts Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have accepted to take a pay cut in order to aid the club’s Financial Fair Play parameters and ensure new signing Sergio Aguero could be formally registered with the Spanish Football League (LFP).
Earlier in the summer, Gerard Pique took a similar decision to allow Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be ratified as Barcelona players.
Griezmann originally left Atletico for Barcelona in 2019 at the end of a protracted transfer saga after his £103m (€120m) release clause was paid in full.
A year earlier, he featured in a documentary with Spanish TV station Movistar called “The Decision” which followed him as he opted to stay at Atletico despite interest from Barcelona.
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