Romelu Lukaku’s potential return to Inter Milan seems to be an outcome favored by anybody and everybody involved, except maybe the bean-counters, who on the Inter side are scrambling to find the necessary funds and who on the Chelsea side are trying to make this whole thing not the most horrendous loss-leader in transfer market history.
One potential, if unlikely, way the financial picture could be improved is if we could do a partial exchange, which works well in Football Manager, but is far less common in real life. Still, it makes for excellent rumor mill fodder, with plenty of permutations to keep the wheels churning.
Given that Chelsea’s biggest needs in transfer market this summer are center back and full back, that’s where the most joy is to be had for these rumors. And sure enough, we now have the likes of Milan Škriniar linked, or the likes of Stefan de Vrij and Denzel Dumfries re-linked.
Škriniar is indeed most excellent and in the prime of his career, who could in be in the conversation for best in the world if he were to upgrade to the Premier League from the Serie A. Alas, it looks like he might be only going as far as Paris, with PSG pushing hard. While Inter have reportedly rejected a €50m offer and are holding out for €70m, with only one year left on the 27-year-old’s contract, they may not have that much leeway or leverage.
The Chelsea angle is a bit more speculative right now, but Škriniar would surely be a better investment than his teammate De Vrij, who may be a bit more available, but is also a fair bit older and a lot bit less good. Last time De Vrij was seriously linked with us was in 2018, and with good reason.
(Speaking of old flames, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly’s back in the rumor mill, too, with the Partenopei supposedly wanting €40m for the soon to be 31-year-old. LOL!)
With Inter playing hardball over their center backs, maybe we could bark up their full back tree instead. Denzel Dumfries, who was on the periphery of our radar last summer when he was still at PSV, but should now ping more clearly after an excellent (first) season at Inter. The 26-year-old Netherlands international has been linked with Spurs in a £20m move, which seems reasonable indeed.
Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio’s has been in London since yesterday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, presumably working on all these various permutations and potential suitors. Busy busy busy!