The best club in Europe buys a super bomber. Abramovich will pay a huge sum for Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku , according to international media reports, has already passed a medical examination and flew to London to sign a contract with Chelsea. Insiders wrote that the transfer is estimated at € 115 million, and the striker’s salary will be € 12 million per year, plus bonuses.
Inter fans are not just saddened by this development of events, but enraged: the club is being “dismantled”, and the loss of the best player only adds bitterness to everything that happens to the reigning champion of Italy. Fans, in protest against the transfer, painted over graffiti with Lukaku and hung out a banner that literally translates as “you twist our balls”, but is interpreted as “we’ve had enough” or “we’re fed up with this.”
Inter sells Lukaku due to financial problems. The club is mired in debt, the priority task for the season is to gain profit in transfers
Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, Ashraf Hakimi, Nicolo Barella, Stefano Sensi, Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez are big names that have appeared on the team since Antonio Conte took over in 2019. The purchases paid off: second place, the Europa League final and last season’s championship title. After such a success, the Italian coach was waiting for new top transfers and support from the Chinese owners, but instead received a notification from them that Inter would have to save a lot.
The finances of the Suning Group company, which came to the Milan club in 2016, dried up after the pandemic – they even had to liquidate the club in China: in March, the holding announced that Jiangsu Suning would immediately cease its activities due to numerous debts, despite just taken championship. Blomberg then wrote that Inter would also become part of the deal, but it did not come to that – the Chinese owners took out a € 275 million loan from the Californian Oaktree fund to close all payments. It is necessary to return the issued amount within three years, otherwise the club will pass into the possession of the fund. But the Chinese owners were still looking for alternatives: they were already trying to find a new partner or someone who would buy Inter from them at a price of about € 1 billion. There were even negotiations with the British investment company BC Partners.
The financial situation at the club was also affected by restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities: Chinese President Xi Jinping issued new directives for the owners of football clubs in Europe, ordering them to refocus their efforts on the national level and invest in local football. The government came to this after realizing that it did not benefit from Chinese businessmen investing overseas.
Now, Inter’s net debt is estimated at € 630.1 million. Last season, the club lost a record € 102.1 million, and revenues fell from € 370 million to € 302 million. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the owners have set a goal to cut wages payments by 15-20%, and this can be done in several ways: to sell players with high salaries (Lukaku, for example) or to re-sign contracts with existing players on new terms. One way or another, Conte, after taking the championship, was told that the expenses would be minimal, and the players with “big” agreements would go out, and he was categorically not satisfied with this.
At the same time, of the € 180 million received from the sales of Lukaku and Hakimi, only € 35 million can be reinvested – the rest will go to cover costs and close debts.
The previous visit to Chelsea was unsuccessful for Lukaku. Didn’t work well with Mourinho and quickly went on loan
Lukaku will return to Stamford Bridge almost ten years later and in a completely different status. His first visit to London can hardly be called successful: the competition with Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba for a place in the squad resulted in a constant presence on the bench and only 10 appearances on the field. When Chelsea took the Champions League in 2011/2012, Lukaku said he hadn’t even touched the cup: “I didn’t deserve it because I wasn’t in the squad. It would be difficult for me to accept the medal. I don’t touch anything that I don’t deserve. That’s why I haven’t touched the FA Cup either. “
The striker went on loan to West Brom, where he scored 17 goals in 35 games. Back in London, he was determined to play for Chelsea, but again failed – he left for Everton for a year. Jose Mourinho, who then coached the London club, said that Lukaku himself asked to leave, and Romelu said that they were “not on the same wavelength” with the Portuguese. At some point, they even had a kind of skirmish through the media.
“Romelu loves to talk,” Mourinho told reporters when asked about the striker. – He’s a boy who loves to talk. But the only thing he didn’t say was why he left for Everton on loan. This is the only thing he never talks about. There are things in our life that we must keep secret, but one day he scored and said: “I hope Jose saw this.” It was like saying, “Why did he let me go?” And this is what I will tell him now: “Explain to the country why you left.” When you like to talk, say everything. Don’t say only half. It’s a simple question: “Why did you leave Chelsea?” Ask him”.
When Everton bought Lukaku out, Mourinho said the striker was not ready to compete at Chelsea. Romelu, in turn, publicly thanked Jose for the opportunity to leave the team and develop at the Liverpool club: “I had one conversation with him a few days before my departure, and I told him that I want to leave. I think he saw in my eyes that I really needed to play because it was the year of the World Cup. He gave me the green light. ”
In three years at Everton, Lukaku played 110 games and scored 53 goals, after which he was acquired by Manchester United – there he scored his 100th goal in the Premier League and worked again with Mourinho. In 2019, Inter bought it for a record € 74 million for the club, and there Romelu finally revealed himself.
“Those two years at Inter gave him a status and confidence that he didn’t have before,” Mourinho told The Times. – At Chelsea he was still a child. At Manchester United he was still developing. He became the leader at Inter. They fell in love with him – the great love of the fans, the love of his teammates, the excellent relationship with the coach. “
“He is now one of the best strikers in the world,” Conte told L’Equipe. – Lukaku already had important physical and technical skills, but over these two years we made him even more progressive. His dedication, ability to work for the team and find a chance to score has improved. ”
Now Chelsea will not get a young, insecure guy, but an accomplished player – and I want to believe that this time Lukaku’s story in the London club will turn out happier than the first time.